Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A beautiful Summer!

Summer's story is a very common one at Pet 24. The huge majority of dogs that go missing are those being looked after by friends or family, while the owners are away on holiday. 

Even if the dog enjoys being in a familiar home, they will become stressed when they start to miss their owners, so it's imperative that all temporary doggie carers are made aware of this from the start and encouraged to take particular care with gates, doors and when out walking the dog. It's a good idea to put up temporary notices on all exits from the house and garden just to remind everyone of their precious visitor's safety! When walking the dog it's recommended to keep them on a lead or only walk in a secure fenced off area. It's really worth explaining to the temporary carers that although it might not show, your doggie is going to feel more stressed than usual and increasingly wonder where you are.

It's imperative therefore that your dog feels safe and secure at all times, particularly when you are away.

Here's another happy Pet 24 story-we had to choose this photo of Summer due to her lovely pink tongue and beautiful brown eyes! Thankfully another escapee with a happy told by Summer herself of course! 

I stayed at my Mum's friend's house while my family went away on holiday.  It was very nice staying there as she gave me lots of treats! But I was really missing my family and this made me want to do something different. 

On the day I was due to go home, I slipped out when someone left the gate open, walked along the road and tried to have a great time, though I was feeling stressed at being out on my own.

I went into the corner shop where the owner was really nice to me and gave me some water. She rang the Pet 24 number on my tag so that I could be collected. She told everyone that I was really good, didn't move from the shop and that everyone who came in made a fuss of me. Frankly, I was relieved to be inside and somewhere safe.

Then my Mum came to collect me and my adventure was over. I was very happy to see her!
 I wouldn't have run away if I'd known it was the last day without my family!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pet Bereavement

Recently, within our Pet 24 team there has sadly been a couple of pet bereavements. This stirred up some talk about the deep feelings that emerge when we lose our beloved pets with whom we've shared so many days of our lives. We thought it might be helpful for our customers to pass on some helpful tips for when your pet dies.

One of the best authorities on this subject is Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. We highly recommend her sensitively written book Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet.

Here is a summary of her key points. We hope it helps.

1. Am I crazy to hurt so much?

We spend more time with our pets than anyone else living outside of our homes-including family members, so no wonder it hurts when they've died. 

During the years you spent with your pet it became a significant and constant part of your life. It was a source of comfort and companionship, of unconditional love and acceptance, of fun and joy. So don't be surprised if you feel devastated by the loss of such a relationship. They were your soul mate.

2. What Can I Expect to Feel?

Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides your sorrow and loss, you may also experience the following emotions:
  • Guilt It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet's life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief.
  • Denial makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It's hard to imagine that your pet won't greet you when you come home, or that it doesn't need its evening meal.
  • Anger may be directed at the illness that killed your pet, the driver of the speeding car, the veterinarian who "failed" to save its life. Sometimes it is justified, but when carried to extremes, it distracts you from the important task of resolving your grief.
  • Depression is a natural consequence of grief, but can leave you powerless to cope with your feelings. Extreme depression robs you of motivation and energy, causing you to dwell upon your sorrow.

3. What can I do about my feelings?

The most important step you can take is to be honest about your feelings. Don't deny your pain, or your feelings of anger and guilt. Only by examining and coming to terms with your feelings can you begin to work through them.

You have a right to feel pain and grief! Someone you loved has died, and you feel alone and bereaved. You have a right to feel anger and guilt, as well. Acknowledge your feelings first, then ask yourself whether the circumstances actually justify them.

Locking away grief doesn't make it go away. Express it. Cry, scream, pound the floor, talk it out. Do what helps you the most. Don't try to avoid grief by not thinking about your pet; instead, reminisce about the good times. This will help you understand what your pet's loss actually means to you.

Some find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in poems, stories, or letters to the pet. Other strategies including rearranging your schedule to fill in the times you would have spent with your pet; preparing a memorial such as a photo collage; and talking to others about your loss.

4. Who can I talk to?

Working through your feelings with another person is one of the best ways to put them in perspective and find ways to handle them. Find someone you can talk to about how much the pet meant to you and how much you miss it-someone who you feel comfortable crying and grieving with.

If you don't have family or friends who understand, or if you need more help, ask your veterinarian or humane association to recommend a pet loss counselor or support group. Check with your church or hospital for grief counseling. Remember, your grief is genuine and deserving of support.

 5. What should I tell my children?

You are the best judge of how much information your children can handle about death and the loss of their pet. Don't underestimate them, however. You may find that, by being honest with them about your pet's loss, you may be able to address some fears and misperceptions they have about death.

Honesty is important. If you say the pet was "put to sleep," make sure your children understand the difference between death and ordinary sleep. Never say the pet "went away," or your child may wonder what he or she did to make it leave, and wait in anguish for its return. That also makes it harder for a child to accept a new pet. Make it clear that the pet will not come back, but that it is happy and free of pain.

Never assume a child is too young or too old to grieve. Never criticize a child for tears, or tell them to "be strong" or not to feel sad. Be honest about your own sorrow; don't try to hide it, or children may feel required to hide their grief as well. Discuss the issue with the entire family, and give everyone a chance to work through their grief at their own pace.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Another happy ending with Pet 24.....

Poppy was rehomed from Dogs Trust Darlington in March this year. Four weeks ago she escaped from the back garden and her owners, the Dodd family, were beside themselves with worry. Luckily she was wearing her Dogs Trust Pet 24 tag on her collar. Within an hour Pet 24 had called the family to say that Poppy had been found on a nearby street, and 20 minutes later she was back where she belonged. See how happy the boys are to have her safely home again! 'Mrs Poppy' (Mum!) said: 'Thank goodness for Pet 24-it's a great service'. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Buddy Bosco 'Our Hero!'

This is such an unusual story about one of our Pet 24 members, Buddy, that we thought we just had to publish! His owners kindly adopted him from the Dogs Trust Centre in Kenilworth. Buddy's had many issues to deal with, probably from being mistreated in the past, but now thankfully he is with a loving family who are giving him a caring home-and he's earning his keep.... what a smart dog!

Buddy Bosco aged three, was homed with us on September 12th, 2013 and to bed him
in and get him into a routine in we walked him a lot. Unfortunately we found this
made him so tired he became very snappy and was falling asleep from a sitting
position. We were advised to ease back a little and we did so.

Buddy had many other problems, doorbells, church bells, ice cream vans, emergency
vehicles and running horses amongst many others. This was just from the television
and he was much more nervous outside on walks. As time passed he did improve but
not significantly. We did notice that he enjoyed jumping up into our camper so we
thought that a holiday trip to France would help us all bond together.

In August 2014,after obtaining his passport, we set off for a trip to France via Eurotunnel.
Buddy took it all in his stride and really enjoy his walks at the camp sites and
seaside towns that we visited. Sadly the weather was not kind to us and we decided
to return home earlier than scheduled.

This involved a trip to the Pet Passport Centre at Euro-tunnel. on a windy stormy day.
Due to the 24 hour waiting period after the visit to the French veterinarian we had
to occupy ourselves for 2 hours. The inclement weather forced us to sit tight in the
car park and a bit of buffeting, we thought from the wind, told us that it was better
to be here than on the open road.

After one and a half hours the weather broke, the sun came out and encouraged my
wife Jeannie to take Buddy for a short walk. I remained in the camper mentally
adding up the cost of taking Buddy abroad.

Upon his return Buddy would not approach the camper and kept gruffing like a grumpy old man! I got down from the
camper and remarked that his behaviour was not normal for him. Jeannie replied that he was agitated at something under the camper. Looking underneath I was taken aback to see two big white, wide open eyes of a young
man hanging to the underside of the camper.

An agitated barking Buddy, me banging on the side of the vehicle and an extremely agitated Jeannie quickly persuaded the
unwelcome hitch hiker to clamber from under the camper and walk away. In relief, a swift recalculation told me that Buddy had more than paid his dues.

Buddy? He quickly realised his hero status and milked it for all it was worth.
Since his return he has made steady progress but has some way to go! Buddy is an
intelligent, loving dog who still has a few hang ups after one year with us but he is
loving life. Our little hero!

Dogs Trust Kenilworth, Warwickshire

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Did you know about Vet 24 emergency vet fee cover? FREE with Pet 24 membership!

Here's a fab pic of Scoob and Sam. Sam did 'a runner' ....he was thankfully found safe and unhurt, then taken to a local vet's practise where the call was made to our 24/7 Pet 24 team in Cambridge-they then notified a very relieved owner, who picked Sam up shortly after the call. 

It's so important that missing dogs are reunited with their owners as quickly as possible, in order to minimise the stress they will feel-not to mention that of the owner. One of our fantastic partners, Dogs Trust, knows only too well the importance of keeping their rescue dogs' stress levels at a minimum where possible, which is why all dogs they re-home leave their centres wearing a LIVE lost-and-found yellow Dogs Trust tag, which is serviced by Pet 24.

Thankfully, on this occasion Sam was found uninjured. 

Did you know that as part of the Pet 24 membership (£15 a year or £40 for 5 years) your dog will also be covered by Vet 24? 

Vet 24 gives emergency vet fee cover of up to £750 should your dog be found injured.

It's fantastic value for money, bringing great peace of mind to our dog owners and is one of the main reasons that people stay with Pet 24 year after year, including of course the knowledge that their dog's tag ensures a quick reunion with their owner, should their beloved dog go missing- just a phone call away!

Our customers also love the extra information that they can give Pet 24, including other family members' or neighbours' phone numbers and information about their holidays, when many dogs go missing.

Many thanks for the great picture Jackie...and the whole team wish both doggies a long and happy life.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pet 24 and Agria Insurance provide a speedy return for the intrepid Archie!

Pet 24 works in partnership with many different types of organisations. As well as working with established animal charities such as Dogs Trust and Wood Green Animal Shelter, we also work with Agria Insurance who offer our service to their many customers. We couldn't resist telling you about this particular little chap 'Archie' as he's so adorable and we believe should be starring in a Walt Disney film! Here's his lost and found story as brilliantly written to us by one of his relieved owners:

Archie, our 6 month old border is happy to go along with my husband when he is out and about working. In fact he has built up a team of admirers who take turns in supervising him as well as supplying a steady stream of treats! 

Unfortunately a minor lapse in supervision resulted in our adventurous young pup making a bid for freedom and he escaped through a partially open gate. Our intrepid explorer made his way across a car park and behind the back of the local shopping centre. 

Following his instincts and no doubt his nose, Archie found his way to the local butcher's shop. The butcher's boy was interrupted from his sausage-making duties to find two doleful eyes looking up at him. Fortunately he resisted the begging looks and phoned the Pet 24 number immediately. Much to my husband's relief, Archie was returned within 20 minutes and the search party called off. 

The 'Cooler King's great escape was at an end with a happy conclusion all round. Really glad we had taken up the option of having Archie tagged. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Another quick reunite for opportunist Scrappy!

Many thanks to Peter Grace for writing about Scrappy's straying adventure!

We acquired Scrappy from Dog’s Trust at Kenilworth.  He is a King Charles Spaniel/Jack Russell cross which has given him a very inquisitive nature and boundless energy.  He is a friendly little character and has recently returned from his second visit to France where he seemed equally at home. 

A few weeks ago while my wife Mary, who is disabled, was home alone when a neighbour called to see her.  When Mary opened the door to speak to her, Scrappy seized the moment and off he went on an unscheduled adventure.  Because of Mary’s restricted mobility she was unable to give chase and Scrappy disappeared around the corner of our cul de sac to inspect neighbouring gardens and properties.  

Fortunately Dog’s Trust had put us in touch with Pet 24 and the runaway was wearing his tag with its vital information.  He was gone for a considerable time and then our home phone rang to pass on the news that someone had found Scrappy and had rung the number on his collar tag of Pet 24.  This meant that with the aid of our son, Scrappy was collected from his final destination and returned safely home.  

Thankfully he had not gone far and had been quite happy to accept the hospitality of his rescuers.  When I arrived home I delivered a small token of our gratitude, taking Scrappy on his lead to apologise.  His rescuers were quite amused, telling me that he didn’t put up any sort of struggle but made himself comfortable on their settee!  

Peter Grace

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Buster the Boss! Episode 3 Deafness in Dogs

Hi canine buddies-as part of my litany of 'genolds' ailments (getting old) I hope to be of help to those of you suffering from hearing loss,and particularly your lovely owners-as there are some effective ideas that can really make a difference to us in our new deaf state.

1. Communication through hand-signals.
My family soon picked up that I'm unable to respond in the same way as I used to, and often don't seem to know what's going on around me. This is made much more bearable when they use hand signals which I can work out just as well as looking at their facial expressions. My key hand-signal 'words' are:  stay, come, dinner, good boy, play, sit and my favourite..treat! Before we used these I was really getting quite depressed as I just felt cut off from the world and particularly my family. Now life feels almost back to normal.

2. Safety.
Sadly I can no longer hear my owners calling me across the park (which I felt very liberating at the start and just ran around for ages, until I realised I was getting lost!). Now I'm on an expanding lead all the time unless we go to a secure woodland park where I can't find even the smallest rabbit hole in the fence to escape! I can't hear the traffic any longer either so my owners have to be more mindful of walking me on the inside of the pavement so that I don't get scared by the sudden appearance of a huge truck etc..

3. Dog whistle
If you can get hold of a 'storm' whistle- these can usually be heard by even the most deaf dogs! My owners have used one for a while and I can just about hear it-well enough to follow on when called, tho I must admit to 'not hearing' it sometimes!!

4.Indoor management.
Particularly other dogs! My sister will growl at me if I'm too close to her bowl or treat and as I can't hear her, my Mum has to intervene to save me getting a nasty nip! Sometimes she just makes me aware that sis has her top lip curled up-I can see THAT ok!
Also, due to being deaf we often get in the way of people walking around as we can't tell they're behind us, so PLEASE show extra patience-we don't WANT to be in your way!

I'm sure there are many other tips out there-these are just some of the top-listed ones and I hope this short list is effective for you and hasn't bored your owners too much! I think the biggest improvement for me has been the hand signals that my whole family now use with me-as it really makes me feel included again.
Phew! I'm exhausted after all that writing!

Good luck doggie friends!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Small dogs stolen for dogfight bait

Although there has been a lot of media noise around this subject, we are still seeing small dogs left alone, tied up outside shops or in one case this morning, outside a library. 

Hard as it is to write about and more so, to include pictures of the terrible results of dogs used for bait, the whole Pet 24 team feel that such an awful activity warrants its own blog...even if it saves just one dog's pain or even its life.

There is currently another surge in dogs being stolen for bait, mainly because the morons that steal small dogs for bait are paid increasingly well. The latest scam is for small dogs to be followed home, then the owner's house marked on the pavement as a house to be watched for a future opportunity to steal the dog that lives there.

We have also heard of dogs that have been enticed across a park by strong smelling food, then quickly picked up by the thieves, leaving the owner scouring the park to no avail. 

Other small dogs have been snatched from cars that have been left unlocked, and some even from the owner's garden.

We all really have to be on the alert for anyone looking suspicious, either hanging around in parks, or near our homes. Luckily dog owners are usually very friendly to each other, so word should be getting around. Sadly however, it's clear that many owners are still in ignorance of this awful activity.

Although many of these poor dogs don't survive being used as bait, some are found alive and in a terrible state. 

Forgive us for including the following picture- these are shocking but NOTHING like some of the truly disturbing and upsetting images available. We feel it's necessary to include some images while it's clear that some dog owners either don't know about this growing activity or are maybe just being too complacent, imagining it would never happen to their dog. 

PLEASE talk to all dog owners you meet about this shocking activity.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Buster the Boss! Bad breath in dogs

Well! I feel most indignant that I'm being asked to write about something so personal...I'm not convinced they've got the right dog...ME?...Bad breath?! I've been taking herbal sprinklings on my dinner for the last 8 years so how can THAT be?!  Sigh-it must be so. I know my family wouldn't fib and now they're doing all sorts of things about it....with me!....Here are my top ten tips:

1. Get your vet to check your teeth at least twice a year. Although my breath wasn't great my actual teeth were ok so that narrowed down the causes quickly.

2. Get your teeth cleaned everyday!! Pot, kettle, black. My family have sadly failed on this one, and NONE of my doggie friends in the park get their teeth cleaned EVERY day, tho some do once a week or when they go to the vets. It's apparently never too late to start, but I find it MOST undignifying and always give my Mum a hard time, so we have to trolly off to the vets all the time....the following tip is a MUCH better idea..

3. Chew on really good dental chews! Do get your owner to check the ingredients as there are some really dodgy chews out there-usually the cheapest. Persuade your owner that when they're paying a little more for quality dental chews they are likely to be saving on future vet's bills!

4. Get your owner to check your mush for anything that shouldn't be there...squirrel tail, cat fur, rat leg-you know. Seriously tho', just like humans, it could be just a piece of old food that's got stuck in your teeth. Some dogs are good enough to let their owners FLOSS their TEETH..not this one. That's just not happening and I made that clear within seconds of being held-in-the-position-that-I know-means-trouble...between someone's knees.  So my Mum has to make do with having a good look around in my mouth which I can just about tolerate.

5. As well as dental chews (and a lot longer lasting) another good prevention technique is chewing on a hard plastic toy. No promoting meant, but the Kong range are great value and very hard to work your way through! There are many others though and they all work the gums and teeth well, really helping to prevent disease and some even have a great smell about them too.

6. A healthy mixed diet is essential for all dogs...and not just meat. Our digestive systems and consequently breath respond very well to plenty of vegetables and rice, so hanging around the kitchen after your family have had dinner might remind them to pass on any leftovers into your bowl! 

My family always cook a little more just for me and my sis-always a treat that costs next to nothing!

7. If your owner has good eyesight and can read the small print (!) get them to look for a product containing chlorhexidine.
It's used in chews and spray and kills the bacteria in the mouth...though not for those of us who prefer natural remedies!

8. There are many natural remedies for halitosis in us dogs-so easy to find nowadays when your owners go online.

We've been using 'Plaque Off' successfully for many years, though just recently due to my old age apparently (15) my owner's needed to add other interesting things to my daily routine-one of them being 'Tropiclean' to my water, of which I really like the taste and which seems to be working. 

9. I need to get a bit personal for the last tip, which I'm sure your owner knows about, but SOME don't!  Do have your anal glands checked regularly! As we get older we often need a bit more help with this. Often owners can do this themselves (great details are online!) or they can trolly you off to the vet! Good luck!

I do hope some or even all of these tips have been helpful..try not to be too embarrassed about having bad breath..every dog has it at some time in their lives, and we ALL know what it's like when our owners have had a lot of garlic!!! Eeeeyuk!    Good luck friends!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Buster the Boss! Dementia in dogs

Well! I think it's all a lot of fuss about nothing! Maybe I do get a bit confused when I'm out in the park or the garden and sometimes walk off in the wrong direction, but that's solved by my Mum keeping me on a lead. I NEVER thought I'd say this as I used to be SO keen to be let off my lead, whereas now I find it keeps me feeling secure and safe. If I am allowed off it, it's only when my Mum knows I can't wander off, but to be honest, now that I can't run about like I used to, I'm quite happy staying on my lead.

Apparently I have been found with my nose in the corner of the kitchen-looking at nothing-but do remember that I'm not the one that's bothered about that-it's just hard for my family to see sometimes. (I don't think that my sister Roxy takes any notice at all!)

I've done some research for my doggie pals in the hope that it helps your owners, who I'm sure find it as sad as my Mum does, but she seems to be more accepting now that she understands it's just part of being able to stick around longer...and as long as I'm fed, kept warm, giving lots of affection and short walks, I'm HAPPY!

I thought you might like to see that my mind goes a bit off track's not all bad..I used to NEVER want my sis near me when having a kip. Nowadays I like to know that she's around! (I'm the one with the fancy white front paw.)

Below is a list of dementia symptoms for your owners to check out: 

  • Disorientation/confusion
  • Anxiety/restlessness
  • Extreme irritability
  • Decreased desire to play
  • Excessive licking
  • Seeming disregard for previously learned training or house rules
  • Slow to learn new tasks
  • Inability to follow familiar routes
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Changes in sleep cycle (i.e, night waking, sleeping during the day)
    I also love it when anyone in my family picks me up and gives me LOTS of stroking and MOST of all I LOVE a face-rub! It makes me purr with pleasure (well, groan then) and really helps me feel part of the family, when I often feel confused and a bit lost. Doggies... IF you can read this without your owners....the best thing about losing my marbles a bit, is that I'm getting spoilt! For the first time EVER I'm allowed to sleep on Mum's bed in the daytime and in the photo above, we managed to sneak in before she chucked on our dog-blanket...much nicer!
    If you too are suffering from doggie-dementia, I hope that your family can turn up the patience and compassion dial! I'm sure your owners will create their own ways of giving you happy and loving end of life care...just in case it helps, below is a list of general points.

  • Try not to change, rearrange, or even refurbish furniture
  • Eliminate clutter to create wide pathways through your house
  • Consider purchasing or building a ramp for any stairways
  • Know your dog's limits when introducing new toys, food, people, or other animals
  • Develop a routine feeding, watering, and walking schedule
  • Keep commands short, simple, and compassionate
  • Encourage gentle and involved, short play sessions
Wishing all ageing dogs like myself a happy and comfortable end-of-life. Buster the Boss.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Another Happy Owner story-kindly written by Frank's owner

As you can see Frank is a big part of our family. On the day he went missing we were on a normal walk in the woods near our house. We think Frank must have caught the scent of a fox or something strong, as he suddenly ran away and kept running even when we called him back. Our whole family walked around the woods for nearly an hour-we were out of our minds with worry as we’d never lost him before. Then my mobile rang-it was a Pet 24 person to say that Frank had been found and was safe in a house with another dog and 2 children making a fuss of him! It’s hard to write how relieved we were-and we are all so pleased that he has a Pet 24 tag….this is a great service and I will recommend it-thank you!

Frank and Luke

                                              Frank was rescued from Dogs Trust

Another Happy Owner story-kindly written by Molly's owner

 This photo of our beloved Molly says it all! She went ‘awol’ in our local park having chased a squirrel and deciding to ignore me! It was very wet and I really thought she would come back to me pretty quickly, but after calling and calling her-no Molly. I went home in a bit of a state to be honest. Then my partner had a call on his mobile from Pet 24-someone had found her and she was sitting in their car waiting to be taxied home! I cried with relief when the lovely man brought her to our house- in the pouring rain. She had a nasty shock and was subdued for a few days, so this photo is quite an honest one! So many thanks to the Pet 24 team-thank goodness you’re there!

Molly is a rescue dog from Dogs Trust

A 'before and after' story-in pictures!

Here's one of our treasured customers Anthony, posing in true Hollywood style BEFORE running off.....


No need for words are there?!  He didn't collect that head-mud just trotting down the road! Apparently he's learnt his lesson and has now left his 'Houdini' days behind him. His loving owner isn't taking any risks though, and insists he wears his Dogs Trust tag at all times!

Another Happy Owner story-kindly written by Winston's owner Hilary Curtis

Winston is a Tibetan Spaniel rescue dog from Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester and it was they who recommended Pet 24 to us. It is just as well they did. Within his first week we realised it was no good walking him on a conventional collar and lead. He would wait for you to get slightly ahead, tug backwards and slip straight out of his collar, so we now walk him on a harness. His favourite game, however, is to slip out of the house between your legs unnoticed whilst you are packing the car. Despite our best efforts, he has variously made his way to the local pub, the cul-de-sac round the corner or other streets in the village. He once tried to join a running club going across the field footpaths to the next village! On this occasion, we received a call from Pet 24 and we were on our way to round him up, although it did cost us a bit in wine and chocolates for the kind people who took him in and fed him toast and biscuits. We are very glad that we have Winston back, safe and sound, albeit a little smug - thank you Pet 24!  

Another Happy Owner story-kindly written by Tilly's owner Sarah Neale

I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much for helping us get Tilly back. Your Pet 24 service worked perfectly and we now have our beloved Tilly back home with us. 

She had only wandered half a mile from home but across a busy main road and was too scared to cross back. She is very thin but otherwise fine. 

Thank God for Pet24!  

(Tilly was rescued from Wood Green Animal Shelter)

Another Happy Owner story-kindly written by Cleo's owner Kev

Cleo was only missing a short while, whilst out with her friends something spooked her and she got herself lost in the woods in thick undergrowth.

Despite calling her and the usual whistling she continued to go deeper into the woods. This is only the second week of her being ‘off lead’ and until now she's only had one other occasion when she 'spooked' but found her way back safely that time.

This time she followed her instincts and made for the end of the walk side of the woods where there is a gate. She was stopped from going through by a couple walking their rescue greyhound. They attached their lead to Cleo and seeing the Pet 24 tag called the number and gave Cleo’s ID number.

Fortunately, my friends and I caught up with the couple at the gate. I was very grateful to the couple who had the sense to hold onto her and also to call the Pet 24 number straight away. All is well now and Cleo, despite her stress at getting lost, is happily curled up on her favourite settee.

Had I not been able to find Cleo at the time it is a comfort to know that as soon as I had access to my email I would have known that someone had reported her found. Great job Pet 24!


Another Happy Owner-kindly written by George's owner Jane McCarthy

I recently returned home to NZ to visit my mother in Auckland, leaving my dog 'George' with my auntie and uncle in a small village in the Yorkshire Moors.  George is lovely old Border Terrier that we got from the Dogs Trust in Darlington last year who is a real character.  Despite having a gunshot wound in 2 legs he loves his daily walks and these are the highlight of his day.  On Day 1 of him staying with my relatives, I received a phone call from Pet24 to say that George was sitting by himself in a pub and the publican was looking after him!  I was obviously very shocked and worried, but with Pet 24's help I was able to ring the publican and ask him to keep George in there until I could get in touch with my auntie to pick him up - which she promptly did.  It turns out he had got so excited waiting for his walk he decided to go by himself and called in the 'local' for a tipple along the way, a bowl of water and a pat from the locals!!

Thanks Pet 24 for helping co-rdinate the return of our Gorgeous George!! Jane McCarthy 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Dogs in cold weather

As the weather turns colder it’s so important to remember that even though our beloved dogs have some sort of fur coat, this doesn’t mean that they will be warm enough either inside during the day, when the heating might be off, or outside, when they can’t add another layer of warmth as we do!

Here are some quick tips from Pet 24:

1.  Check how the breed of your dog is effected by cold weather. If you don’t already know, this can be discovered easily online or by asking your vet. Not all dogs will need the same attention/protection when it comes to ensuring that their bodily warmth is maintained. Obviously, short-haired dogs like greyhounds, boxers etc are bound to feel the cold more than Alaskan Huskies...but there are some surprising exceptions to the 'thick-fur-coat' expectations we might have!

2.  Make your dogs walks shorter when it’s cold-they’ll appreciate it even if they can’t tell you! For older dogs do remember that those prone to arthritis or other muscular problems, really only need gentle exercise twice a day. Most owners are very alert as to how their dogs are walking- do notice any small changes and take note of any reluctance on their part to go out or stay out….which doesn’t mean to say ‘give in to their immediate demands’ !!

Pet 24 boss, Buster is pretty good at ‘faking it’ at the start of his walks, (he often refuses to budge once outside of the front door!). He’s a little stiff in the mornings, so we often carry him until he's in sight of busy squirrels- so that his ‘squirrel-fever’ soon makes him forget his all aches and pains!  He’s allowed shorter walks when it’s cold, even if it means bringing him home earlier and going out again with his younger and still bouncy sister Roxy (head of dog/customer services).

3.  If your dog HAS to be outside then do insulate their kennel against the cold, taking special care to cover the entrance with an effective, flexible material. There are many inexpensive options listed online that really work, are quick to set up, and will ensure a warm and cosy bed for your loved doggie! When dogs become cold over  a few hours even, their resistance drops and they are much more prone to illness…as owners are to vets bills!

4. PLEASE don’t trim or shave off their winter coats…no matter how scruffy your dog looks! It’s part of their natural defence against winter weather. When we see a freshly clipped dog in the park in the winter (and sadly we do!) it’s all we can do do to resist getting hold of the owner and ripping off THEIR winter clothes just to say ‘ How does THAT feel buddy?!’  Sadly, some people are more interested in how their dogs LOOK rather than thinking about how their dogs FEEL.

5. Please don’t start to overfeed your dog just because it’s colder weather-that’s a real projection of (what many believe to be) human needs, onto dogs! You’ll just end up with an overweight and unhealthy pooch.

6.  Paying a little extra attention to your dog’s needs in the winter can help with vet’s bills…dogs are prone to extra medical stresses in the winter just as we are. Be aware of extra chemicals/salts on the roads and pavements that dogs can pick up easily- do check their paws after a walk through any unfamiliar road and pavement treatments.

7. Older dogs feel the cold much more than younger ones-just like us! Buster, (on the lead below) is 15 in April, and has only recently decided that he’s not going out at ALL without his coat on-despite having quite a thick, fluffy (and scruffy!) coat of his own! (He's spent most of his active life avoiding all dog-dressing-up that his sad owners attempted!)

Buster and Roxy were pretty disgusted when we bought these ‘Dayglo’ jackets, but they are warm and now they can easily be seen at dusk/night when they wander off in the park. These have a warm fluffy lining and now that it’s colder Buster actually ASKS for his coat to be put on by nuzzling up to it when we get out their leads-bless him. Roxy runs about so much more that she warms up quickly and wriggles around on her back to ask for hers to be taken off, which always results in a mad lamb-like gambol!
Here's hoping that you and your beloved doggies all stay warm during the coming weeks!    

NB! The attached lead is NOT a safe walking lead-it's there to stop Buster wandering off due to the utter boredom he experiences when having his picture taken (unlike his sis who'll soon be modelling her latest pearls-she's such a poser as soon as any camera appears). 

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Frankie and Susan Reunited

Frankie is home safely thanks to his Pet24 membership and fab owner Susan!