Decision Time For Nelson
Murray is the cutest cat and a very large cat too! He just loves wardrobes and will climb in the door if it is a jar, he has no problem with even heavy doors he has the weight and power to open them. Quiet and dark that’s the place for him whenever he can sneak up the stairs and has given Jim and Sarah his owners many a panic in the afternoon trying to find him. Under the quilt is the best one you just have no idea he is there but he loves it all warm and snug! Then it’s time to play with his mouse, Jim calls it Rattie and he has a mad 10 minutes throwing it up in the air and creating the most horrendous noise you would think he was in terrible pain! His favourite place is in the garden under the bushes in the corner of the garden, nice and safe and cool he spends a lot of time snoozing in the bushes.
Basic first aid for your dog
An emergency could strike you or your pet at any time. Basic knowledge of what to do in the event of common accidents is always the best form of defence but what if those accidents involve your beloved pooch?
Learning basic first aid for your dog could ensure they never suffer needlessly and even save their life in an emergency. The essentials all dog owners should learn are highlighted below but you should also give your pup the best protection by investing in insurance for dogs.
Insurance policies can cover the cost of expensive veterinary bills and medical treatment that may be required if your dog is injured or ill. They provide great peace of mind and can cost just a few pounds a month to set up – meaning your dog will never have to wait for treatment or suffer needlessly.
If your dog is involved in a road accident then you should approach them slowly, avoiding sudden movement and talking to them gently. Attach a lead if possible, and a muzzle if necessary, before handling them.
If they are able to walk, take them to the vet – even if they don’t seem to be in pain, there may be internal injuries that need to be investigated.
If they can’t walk, you’ll have to pick them up. For small dogs, place one hand at the front of the chest and one under the hindquarters. For large dogs, use a blanket or anything else you have to improvise a stretcher (something rigid is best in the event of spinal injury).
Cover your dog with a blanket to keep them warm and get them to a vet as soon as possible. Some veterinary surgeries may even offer a callout service which may be worth using.
For a dog that shows signs of poisoning it is vital that you act quickly. If you can, find the packaging of whatever substance you think your dog has swallowed and have it to hand when you phone the vet.
Maybe you suspect they have been chewing a plant? If so, try to identify it and call the vet as soon as possible with as much information as possible and follow their advice. Do not attempt to make your dog sick unless instructed to.
Ball stuck in throat
Dogs love to play – but what if playtime takes a nasty turn and they get a ball stuck in their throat? Get your dog to the vet straight away, unless you are able to remove the ball by pushing on the throat from the outside.
If their gums or tongue are turning blue or they have collapsed, get someone to hold their mouth open while you reach inside. If this doesn’t work, lay them on their side and push down sharply on their tummy, just behind the last rib.
Eye injuries are fairly common in dogs and may be caused by a number of different actions. If you can see the eye is bulging out of the socket then apply a wet dressing and try to stop your dog from rubbing or scratching the area while calling the vet.
In the case of chemicals getting into the eye, flush with water before calling the vet immediately.
Insects are not always friendly to animals and if your dog has been stung then you should find the sting and remove it before bathing the affected area with water or a solution of bicarbonate of soda. Ice may help to soothe the pain too but if the sting is in the mouth or throat area then a vet should be contacted as it may affect breathing.
Canine first aid box
It’s also advisable to make sure you’re equipped with a basic first aid kit to look after your pooch. Essential items to include are:
- Non-adhesive absorbent dressings
- Surgical sticky tape
- Cotton wool
- Sterile absorbent gauze
- Blunt ended scissors, preferably curved
- Thick towel
- Elizabethan collar
Enjoy your Dogs and take care.
Steps to make sure your dog doesn’t escape
Dogs who escape can cause trouble for the neighbours and put themselves in serious danger. Trainer Carolyn Menteith and legal expert Trevor Cooper advise.
Carolyn Menteith says: Talk to dog wardens and they will tell you that while any dog can escape, when it comes to the canine Houdinis, there are definitely some repeat offenders.
Some dogs keep getting picked up by wardens or just cause chaos until someone catches them and returns them home.
Most dog walkers will see ‘lost dog’ notices pinned up around their regular routes and many have bumped into panic-stricken owners desperately hunting for their dog who has vanished into the undergrowth. It is the kind of thing that strikes fear into the hearts of most dog owners and if this sounds like your dog, you need to take action now — the world can be a dangerous place for a wandering canine.
Home is where the dog is
If your dog escapes from the home or the garden, think about some home management. Check that your fences are secure, ensuring that your dog can’t get through, over, or under them. Never underestimate how high a determined dog can jump or what tiny gaps he can squeeze through. If that is not possible, make a rule that your dog never goes out in the garden unattended and if he doesn’t have a good recall, always on a lead. Many dogs escape past their owners in doorways — and something as simple as putting up a baby gate in the doorways to give you a double door system can prevent this. Make sure everyone in the family is vigilant about watching out for the dog, shutting doors, and even putting signs on your gate — as well as a self-closing gate spring — for the postman or delivery drivers so that accidental escapes can be prevented.
The next thing to do is to have a long, hard think about why your dog is so keen to escape. In many cases, the answer is boredom. Ask yourself if your dog is getting enough exercise — every dog needs a good half an hour every day and the more active breeds need upwards of two hours a day split into a couple of walks. This ensures that the dog’s physical needs are met but also he gets a change of scenery. As well as physical exercise, your dog needs mental exercise too. If you keep your dog’s brain occupied, he is far less likely to look for an opportunity to break out. Make training part of your dog’s daily routine. Interactive toys — such as feeding your dog using a stuffed Kong toy instead of a bowl — not only provide a mental challenge but also give him a chance to chew and gnaw.
Making a comeback
Many dogs vanish when out on walks rather than from the house. Working on a good recall is vital and it could easily save his life. If you don’t have a reliable recall — one you have trained, and have worked on with distractions — don’t let your dog off the lead when he is out and about.
If you have a dog who has selective hearing when you are around other dogs, or when there are interesting scents to follow, or things to chase (and some breeds are more prone to this than others. we find Huskeys, Beagles and Basset hounds among our regular offenders), keep them on a lead when you are likely to encounter those things. Dogs can run off in pursuit of something exciting and then once the chase is over, they find that they are completely lost and have no idea how to get back to their owner.
Even if your dog does have a good recall, it is useful to have some treats and a toy when you are walking so you can keep your dog focused on you, making you more interesting to be with rather than him having to find his own fun. This is often an area where it is useful to work with a good trainer who understands how different breeds and types of dog think, and who will realistically teach you how to train your dog to come back despite distractions and how to recognise and manage the situations when that temptation will just be too great.
Paying attention works both ways though. You see a number of people out with their dogs who spend all their time on their phones and totally ignore their pets so not only are their dogs bored but they can easily slip off without the owners noticing. Your dog walks should be a chance for you and your dog to interact together — not just a chore. If you and your dog have fun together, your bond will be far stronger and the need to escape less likely.
A safe return
If your dog does escape, make sure you have a good chance of getting him back. Ensure he is microchipped and that he has a collar and tag with your mobile phone number on. The number isn’t required by law but if someone catches your dog, the first thing they will hopefully do is call, and even if you are still out hunting for him, you will have your mobile phone with you. Often the only things that are needed to keep your wandering dog safely at home are a bit of simple management, training, and being a little more dog aware. Too many people just trust to luck and eventually their luck will run out — along with their dog!
Escaping — the law
Trevor Cooper says: No responsible dog owner wants their dog to escape but, if it should happen, you’ll want your dog to be returned to you quickly. So why do so many owners disregard a law that aims to reunite them with their dogs?
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 in England and Wales requires that when a dog is on a road or other public place (so to all intents and purposes this means when outside), he wears a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on it or on a plate or badge attached to it. Failure to comply without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence for which the owner or keeper could be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £5,000. However, prosecutions are rare and many dog owners seem to have forgotten that this law exists.
The collar and tag is also the easiest form of identification as it means that your details can be read without the need for any technical equipment and anyone that finds a lost dog can return the pet direct to its owner without having to go through a council dog warden. It is accepted that this law isn’t foolproof because:
- Collars can be removed.
- Collars can fall off.
- Some owners don’t want their details displayed.
- If the dog escapes from inside the home he may not have the collar on anyway.
However, the law is the law and even if you don’t like it you should still comply with it, as otherwise you are facing the risk of prosecution, unless one of the limited exemptions apply, and of course you’re reducing the chances of your lost dog being returned home quickly or at all.
There are more permanent forms of identification:
- A tattoo, which an owner can opt to have done, and The National Dog Tattoo Register keeps the owner’s details.
- The microchip, which is also currently discretionary, and the keeper’s details are kept by one of a number of databases.
The governments in both England and Wales have committed to making microchipping of dogs compulsory (although this is unlikely to be instead of the collar and tag requirement). In Wales it is expected to be law by March 1, 2015 and in England by April 6, 2016. It is a quick and inexpensive process and there are currently many ways of getting it done at no cost. Dogs Trust is running a Microchipping Through Vets campaign and to find out where your participating vets are check out www.chipmydog.org.uk or you can call 0330 123 0334. There is no excuse not to be ready for this law!
Once the dog has been chipped it is essential that your details are kept up to date on the database — if you move or the dog’s keeper changes the database will need to be notified and you can be charged for doing this.
Are stray dogs still a problem?
The Dogs Trust Stray Dog Survey shows that between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 over 110,000 stray dogs were handled by councils in the UK (which is a one per cent decrease on the previous year). Only an estimated 50 per cent of these stray dogs were reunited with their owners and sadly about seven per cent were put to sleep.
The responsibility for dealing with stray dogs is with local councils and they are obliged to have an officer who has responsibility for collecting stray dogs found in their area. This doesn’t have to be a round-the-clock service and many councils only operate a collection service on weekdays during office hours. Outside of that period, where practical, the council should still have an acceptance point where stray dogs can be taken.
If an owner doesn’t claim their dog within seven days (from service of a notice to them or date of seizure) and pay the council’s costs, then the dog could be put to sleep or rehomed. When such a dog is rehomed, the rights of the original owner are extinguished provided the new owner has acted in good faith. It is therefore essential that if your dog is lost you contact your council (and possibly neighbouring councils) to report it and, of course, notify the microchip database.
By law, the finder of a stray dog must either take the dog to the council or return it to the owner.
Lavinia one of our walkers was out on her usual walk in Northfeild and noticed a little doggie following her, it seemed to be well looked after but did not have a collar on. The doggie seemed to want to play with her pack and was socialised. She followed our normal procedure when finding lost dogs and rang Shaun who told her to take the doggie to the local Vets in to check whether it was chipped. Cramar Vets at Hopwood scanned the little pooch and great news the owners details and address popped straight up.
The little doggie was united with her parents they were delighted! Cramar Vets presented Lavinia with a bottle of wine much to her surprise for being a good Samaritan.
Your Pet on Television! K9 Buddies
Here at K9 Buddies we were delighted to be approached by the makers of a new ITV television
programme to help dogs and pets across Britain.
In these one hour programmes #ITV will join together with experts from the #PDSA to help your
pet if it is overweight, they will give you top tips and advice, this will not only help your beloved pet
but also thousands of other pets across the country.
We at K9 BUDDIES have walked and looked after hundreds of #dogs and #pets over the years and
we know that if your pet is overweight it can be for many reasons and not the fault of the owner.
This new television programme will help everyone by putting your pet in the hands of the experts.
To get involved you can contact the programme makers direct on this link:
If you contact K9 BUDDIES we will also forward your mail to the programmes producers.
Good Luck! See you on TV
Shaun and Jo Davey
Q: What are the most common reasons that people put dogs in care, from your experience?
There are a variety of reasons that people abandon their pet dogs into the rescue homes. Lack of experience and knowledge on how to handle and control a dog, people moving house or emigrating, change in circumstance, either being made redundant, or a new baby arriving into the family, divorce, separation or death of the owner. Unfortunately some people realise that caring for a dog is far more responsibility than they first anticipated and the novelty wears off, so they give up on the dog and dump it onto someone else.
Q: What are your feelings on taking on a rescue dog, as opposed to a dog from a breeder?
It depends entirely on the reason for wanting a dog in the first place. It is always a very good idea to have a powerful reason for wanting a dog and not just because it’s the fashion or trend or because your neighbour’s puppy looks cute. Caring for a dog comes with huge responsibility and I would suggest that if you are taking a new dog on for the first time you speak to an expert before making your choice.
There are pros and cons to getting a dog from a animal rescue shelter or taking on a pup from a breeder. Both can be very successful and both can come with problems.
Rescue dogs can come with some issues and take longer to bond with a new pack or family. Saying that however, I would always suggest that anyone looking at taking a dog on could try the local animal shelters first. Often there are pedigree dogs and puppies that have been abandoned and you will pay a lot less that what you would from a breeder. It’s always a nice feeling to know you have successfully rescued a dog from a home and given it a second chance in life.
Cross breeds generally come with stronger DNA structures and can suffer less with health problems that some pedigree breeds have. Over breeding has caused some dogs to have genetic problems from the moment they are born.
Natural Rearing is growing in popularity and more and more breeders are looking towards raising a more natural dog, by letting the mothers and the queens of the pack wean the pups without human interference. They will feed a diet of natural raw food to both mother and pups and not let the pups go from mum until its socialisation period is properly fulfilled.
Most breeders are happy to let the pups go to a new home at 8 weeks and I would say this is still too early for the pup. If you can wait until the pup is at least 12 weeks old before you separate it from its mother then the puppy will benefit from extra socialisation whilst its tiny brain is still developing. Not only that, but the pups immune system will develop stronger whilst it is still getting its nutrients from its mum.
Q: What in your opinion are the things to look out for when choosing a dog from a rescue home?
When choosing a dog of any kind, I would say the most important factor to consider before you even consider what breed you would like, is that you match the energy levels of the dog to your own. If you are of high energy then you will want a high energy dog, if you are of low energy then you will want a low energy dog. Too often I see a mismatch of energy levels between owner and dog, the owner has chosen the dog on breed rather than what will actually suit it’s life. For example an old lady should not really own a high energy Husky that needs plenty of exercise but would be more suited to a calm natured dog like a Grey Hound or Dachshund Hound. If a person owns alot of land then a more working breed such a Border Collie or Springer Spaniel or Terrier breed would suit them better.
When choosing a dog from a rescue shelter or from a breeder, take your time, visit the dog often and spend time with it as much as possible before making a decision. Get to know your potential new best friend and let him get to know you before taking him home.
I would also suggest a visit from a professional dog psychologist, when you first take the dog home to help you settle it in and understand the dog’s needs. An animal communicator will be able to help the new owners understand where the dog has come from and what its needs are from the relationship.
Q: What are the biggest mistakes new pet owners make when taking a rescue dog or new puppy home?
One of the biggest mistakes a new owner of a rescue dog can make is it shower it with love, affection and attention when it first arrives in the house. Many people think that because the dog has had a hard time before coming to them, or it’s cute and adorable they want to treat it like a baby and let it get away with everything and not give it any discipline.
A discipline routine should be put in place straight away so the dog understands what the new set rules, limitations and boundaries are. Once the new routine is firmly established then you can start to add affection when the dog behaves in the way that pleases you.
Q: What sort of problems arise when bringing a new dog into the home?
Rescue dogs can come with a host of problems and taker longer to bond with their new family, all of these problems can be resolved with the right professional help, time and patience.
If you have taken a rescue dog on and are having difficulties with settling it in and establishing your self as the dogs natural leader, then don’t take the dog back to its shelter before seeking professional help from a dog psychologist.
It might just be a few simple things that need changing that will make all the difference.
Bear in mind that when you take a dog out of the rescue shelter, it frees up kennel space for another homeless dog to stay. If you then take your dog back, the rescue shelter becomes overcrowded and their resources are over stretched which can lead to even more problems for both them and the dog.