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  1. charlie xmas

    Christmas is an exciting time for the whole family including the four-legged members here are a few tips for a vet free Christmas. 


    1. Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Keep any treats in a place they can't reach and don't put edible decorations on the tree as your dog could get to them and eat them.

    2. Don't give your dog turkey or chicken bones they can splinter and cause injury.

    3. Christmas pudding, cake and mince pies can contain raisins which are toxic to dogs, so are grapes, keep your dog on their usual food to help prevent stomach upsets. 

    4. Alcohol and caffeine can be poisonous to dogs.

    5. Some nuts are toxic to dogs and others can cause intestinal problems. 

    6. Keep to your dogs normal routine and make sure they still get plenty of exercise to stop them getting bored. 

    7. Make sure your dog has a safe place if they want to get away from visitors and remind people to keep doors shut to prevent your dog from getting out. 

    8. Some popular christmas plants and decorations are toxic to dogs so keep poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, etc. out of reach. 

    9. Your dog could ingest real or fake pine needles or get them stuck in paws so pick up any that fall.


    attacking the waves


    If you're planning on taking your dog with you on a trip to the beach this year don't forget to check beach restrictions before you go. You can face a fine if you allow your dog where they are restricted. Some beaches don't allow dogs all year round, some have restrictions from May to September and some restrict access by defined hours. You can usually check on the local councils website for the area you are travelling to for information on where dogs are allowed, what hours and whether or not you need to keep your dog on lead. 

    The Beach Guide has some useful information on dog friendly beaches and restrictions and any beaches where dogs are banned.

    Don't forget to take plenty of poo bags so you can clean up after your dog.

    What is your dogs favourite beach ?

  3. charlie bandana

    Compulsory Microchipping

    As of 6th April 2016 it will be compulsory for all dogs, over the age of 8 weeks, in England, Scotland and Wales to be microchipped. Northern Ireland introduced this legislation in 2012. It will also be required for you and your dogs information to be stored on an authorised database, you will also be responsible for keeping this information up to date. If the dog transfers keepers you will also need to update the information unless done so by the previous keeper, you will also need to notify the database when the dog dies.

    What information will be kept on the database:

    • Full name and address of the keeper
    • If applicable if the keeper is the breeder
    • If keeper is the breeder and is licensed by the local authority
    • Breeders licence number and name of local authority
    • original name or identification number of the dog
    • Contact telephone number of keeper (if any)
    • Name of dog given by keeper
    • Sex of dog
    • Colour of dog
    • Breed of dog or cross breed if applicable
    • Date of birth of dog, as accurate as the keeper can be
    • Unique microchip number

    Working dogs that have had their tail docked by a veterinarian under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, have a time limit of up to 12 weeks to be microchipped. Does not apply to Scotland as tail docking has been banned since 2006. 

    An exception to microchipping applies if a veterinarian certifies that a dogs health would be adversely affected if they were to be microchipped.

    What happens if I don't microchip my dog ?

    If it comes to the attention of authorities that a dog isn't chipped then the keeper will be served with a notice requiring them to get their dog microchipped within 21 days. If the keeper does not get the dog microchipped then they may face criminal prosecution and a fine of £500. A similar fine may be imposed if the dogs details are not kept up to date. If a dog is not microchipped then the dog can also be seized and microchipped at the owners expense.

    Who can microchip a dog ?

    • A veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse under the direction of a veterinary surgeon
    • A student veterinary surgeon or nurse under the direction of a veterinary surgeon
    • A person who has satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the secretary of state or
    • A person who before the date the regulations come into force has received training, including practical experience, of implanting chips

    There are free microchipping events going on around the country you can check out the Dogs Trust scheme here. Alternatively you can go to your local vets where they may have offers or it can be around £20 - £30 for microchipping.




  4. Pet food labelling in Europe falls under EU legislation and means that all pet foods have to show certain information on the label. The label must state what animal the food is intended for whether dog, cat, rabbit etc. whether the food is complete, provides all nutritional needs on its own, or complementary, requires other food to be nutritionally balanced. The label must also give you a guideline to feeding, this is usually accompanied by a statement about making sure clean fresh water is always available.

    The information on the label contains the ingredients of the food, usually referred to as composition. The ingredients are listed by weight order and be listed as categories, e.g. cereals, meat and meat derivatives, or they can be listed as individual names. If a mention is made that the product contains a particular ingredient e.g. with beef the percentage of that particular ingredient must be included. Any additives such as colours and vitamins and a nutritional analysis of the food. The nutritional analysis of the food usually contains the term ash or crude ash this is not an ingredient but refers to the mineral content of the food determined by burning the product.

    The label must also show a batch number or the date of manufacture so the product can be traced. The net weight must also be shown and the name and address of the company responsible for the product this doesn't have to be the manufacturer but can be the distributer, importer, seller or packer. 


    understanding pet food labels

  5. Poppy is the most popular dog name in the UK from last year, (2014). As well as Alfie, Charlie and Ruby dogs names are shifting towards more traditional baby names than just Spot, Rover or Fido. There are a few more unusual names that make the list such as Sherlock, Walter and Arya that are inspired by popular tv shows. How did your dog get their name ? or did they already have one when they came into your home ? 

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