Category Archives: Pets world

The one about kennel cough

Two weeks ago, on the Sunday evening, Lilly started to choke… or so I thought. There had been chicken for dinner, the dogs had had chicken just to make it clear, I am not even sure we had a dinner this day 😦 so anyway I started to freak out that maybe I had missed a bone or something… She would cough and make a hideous choking sound for a minute or so and then stop. She wasn’t breathing heavily or behaving weirdly (or at least I would say no more weird than usually) so I decided to let it be and keep an eye on her and see how things will improve.

On Monday and Tuesday things stayed more or less the same. Every now and then, especially when she was moving or running she would make a coughing sound but as she had a good appetite and was eating as normal as well as being in a great spirit we didn’t really think that she needs to see the vet.

Wednesday was a crazy day for us as we were going to Bradford for my billboard shot. This meant an earlier start and most of the day in the car. We arranged for the neighbours to look after the dogs whilst we were gone. We got up, I ventured to the bathroom in order to make myself look presentable and Mark took the dogs for their morning walk.

About 15 minutes later I heard the door opening. “It was a short walk” I thought. This thought was met with a yell from the doorway – “We have a problem!” Hardly dressed with only half of my make-up on I run downstairs to find out what has happened. “We have a problem with the dogs. I just made 12 people leave the field in a rush yelling at me that our dogs are sick”.

“Brilliant, this is just what we need today!”

Apparently someone pointed out to Mark that both Lilly and Bunk at this point (as he started his coughing during the night) have kennel cough. I wasn’t even sure what to think as I have never had any dealings with this disease.

So instead of getting ready for my Big Day I turned to Mr.Google for help. First thought obviously was cancel the event in Bradford and go to the vet – but as it was so early in the day I decided to read some more and actually find out what are we talking about. The information was sketchy at best. Some websites stated that it is not a big deal and it will go away, others that it is serious and three weeks antibiotics course is in order. We really didn’t know what to do! The vet as it turned out couldn’t see us till the afternoon as when I called the vet to arrange the appointment and told the nice lady on the reception “I think my guys have a kennel cough.” She said “Ok, come in with them but don’t you dare bring them in. Just let me know when you have arrived at the car park”. “This will be fun”, I thought.

So finally we made the decision – we were still going to drive to Bradford but return straight after the photo-shoot in order to see the vet in the afternoon.

So we went and we returned… As it ended up we were seen by the vet in the spare examination room… in the basement. One hour later, and after many, many tests, some poking and general checking, not to mention the sucking sounds as £60 was hovered out of the bank account the verdict was in – They do not have kennel cough!

The one about kennel cough

It is highly possible that they caught the bug but because they are vaccinated every year the disease didn’t have the chance to fully develop and the cough will go away on its own.

We also got the green light for walking with them with other dogs and that it was perfectly safe for them to go where other dogs walk – they can’t pass it on.

So now, all you lovely dog walkers in my village who ran away shrieking and accusing us of spreading kennel cough which one of you wants to help me pay my vet bill?


Filed under Pets world

Cat Dreams – Felix Crunchy Crumbles Machine

Cat Dreams – Felix Crunchy Crumbles Machine

Have you ever stopped and wondered what your cats actually dream about? What on earth goes on in their minds….It might be a new soft bed to sleep in, a feline companion, a field with unlimited supply of mice or maybe something much more elaborate, something just like the Crunchy Crumbles Machine, a very complicated and rather clever contraption that has the dream job of serving new Felix Sensational cat food all day long!

I know my cats would love it, though not sure they would actually wait until the final presentation once the packet was open, more likely scenario is you watch them hunt the bowl down.

They both have access to dry kibbles all day long but once a day, in the evening, they share one sachet of wet cat food. The dogs are fed in the evening, so I always felt a bit guilty that we didn’t have anything special for the cats during “dinner” time. They used to stare at us with their big eyes and wait, when nothing was coming for them, they would walk away with an air tinged both with disapproval and disappointment. So finally picking up on the signals, meaning we caved to the emotional torture, we started to feed them wet food just as a treat.

It is quite amazing watching them just before their food is served. They walk around the kitchen and meow very loudly, they never meowed before we started feeding them the sachets – I guess in cat language it would be something like “Hurry up already”. I know that they aren’t hungry, or at least they shouldn’t be, as they can simply walk upstairs and munch on some kibbles whenever they want.

This is a very special time of the day for my cats. They can be happily running or hiding somewhere outside but as soon as I start making a rattle and preparing the dog food, the cats know that they are next, and who knows maybe today is the day they are first! So they will run to the kitchen and wait… not very quietly I must admit, nope, not anymore.

Cats are cleaver and cunning. I wonder, if they actually did have a Crunchy Crumbles Machine in their possession, would they wait for food to arrive or would they find a short-cut in?

* Post written in collaboration with Purina FELIX.


Filed under Pets world, What's new

All you need to know about Ticks and Fleas

All you need to know about Ticks and Fleas

Ticks and fleas are a big problem for our four legged friends. So often I hear “Oh but my dog doesn’t have fleas, so no, I don’t use anything”. That’s just pure silly. The fact that a pet is flea or tick free today doesn’t mean it will be like this tomorrow. And believe me it is much easier to prevent the infestation than later trying to cure it.

I found a brilliant table on Cesar’s Way website, which shows the main differences between ticks and fleas – have a look.

Fleas v Ticks

Ticks crawl onto tall grass and shrubs and wait for a host to walk by. They can wait for a year without feeding. Dogs are most likely to pick up ticks while walking in the woods or high grass from spring through fall. Outdoor cats can pick up ticks the same way. Ticks are more common in warm climates. Ticks are much more dangerous for us and our pets. You can feel ticks while petting your cat or dog, and you can see them. They most often attach near the head, neck, ears, or paws. On cats, they’re typically found around the ears and eyes. Ticks can carry dangerous diseases, and it doesn’t take long for a pet to pick up the disease while a tick is feeding. If you find a tick on your pet, try to remove it as soon as possible. There is a lot of “magical” ways to remove ticks, but skip gasoline, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol, or a hot match. These methods can force infected fluids back into the bite. Instead:

  • Use gloves or tissue to cover your hands.
  • Grasp the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, close to the skin.
  • Pull straight up. Don’t twist.
  • Don’t squeeze (or pop!) the bloated belly.

Wash the bite area and your hands. Mouth parts that remain rarely cause serious problems. But if you’re worried, call your vet.

Ticks can transmit many potentially deadly diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis; they cause similar symptoms in dogs, which include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Joint swelling or pain

These diseases can have serious complications, so prompt treatment is essential. Tick-borne diseases are uncommon in cats, but they can get a tick infection called cytauxzoonosis, which is often fatal – so do your best to keep pests off your cat and out of your home.

In addition to spreading diseases, ticks can cause other health problems in dogs, including: anemia, skin irritation or infection or tick paralysis.

Fleas are much more common problem. Fleas rarely jump from one pet to another, as is often thought. Instead cats and dogs pick them up from infested environments. This could be your garden, the local park, a friend’s house – any place where an animal that has fleas, such as a rabbit, hedgehog, fox or another cat or dog, may be found.

Most people think of fleas as a nuisance but they are much more than this. In addition to creating itchy spots they can carry diseases; the most popular being tapeworms. The worst part is that this doesn’t stop at pets; they can be transmitted into humans too.

The most obvious sign of fleas is scratching or when it comes to some cats over grooming. Fleas can jump and once in your home, you might need to treat more than just your pet 😦

So, how to protect ourselves and our pets?

The answer is simple: use a good quality preventive product to avoid the tick and fleas in the first place.

We use Frontline Spot On; it kills fleas and ticks and controls biting lice on both cats and dogs. Frontline Spot On is Fast Acting: kills fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours; it is long lasting: kills fleas for up to 5 weeks in cats and up to 2 months in dogs as well as kills ticks for up to months in both cats and dogs; it is water resistant, which means that your pet can swim or be bathed as usual from 48 hours after application.

Thing to remember: there is a lot of different products on the market but please whatever you choose always consult with your vet before picking any tick or flea treatment. Never use your dog treatment on your cat as this can be fatal. Never think your pet is safe from ticks or fleas because it simply isn’t true.

Be a responsible pet owner and protect your furry babies!

* Source:


Filed under Pets world, What's new

A guide to safe driving with your cat or dog

A guide to safe driving with your cat or dog

By Lionel Thain

Even if you don’t make regular car journeys with your pet, you never know when you might need to transport them somewhere. Meanwhile, if you do drive with your pet in the back (or front!) seat regularly, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. Follow these tips to keep your cat or dog happy on the road.

Make them comfortable

If you’re planning a long journey get them used to being in a car by taking them on shorter trips beforehand. Bring along their favourite toy or blanket to help them feel more at home in unusual surroundings.

Restrain your pet

In most cases it’s important to restrain your pet for the safety of everyone travelling in the car. Their movements can prove a distraction to the driver. Small dogs and cats should be in a suitable container, while larger dogs can wear specially designed dog seatbelts. While some owners will feel comfortable letting their dogs travel loosely in the car, it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re planning on travelling abroad that in some European countries this is actually illegal.

As with the previous tip, make sure they’re accustomed to their container or restraint before setting off for your journey.

Have your vet on speed dial

Add your vet’s phone number to your mobile in case you need to contact them in an emergency. If you’re travelling a long distance find out beforehand where the nearest vet will be.

Make sure your pet is healthy

To avoid causing undue distress, you shouldn’t travel with an ill or injured pet (unless the illness or injury is minor, or you are taking them to the vet for treatment). Heavily pregnant pets that are likely to give birth during the journey or those that have given birth in the past 48 should also be spared the demands of a car journey.

Feed and water them

Feed your pet a light meal a couple of hours before the journey – it won’t want to travel on a full, heavy stomach. You should ensure that your pet has continual access to water. Bring food or snacks with you if your journey is a long one – just remember to keep meals light.

Keep them cool

The vehicle, and any container your pet might be in, must be kept well ventilated to stop your pet from becoming overheated. Long haired dogs, those with breathing problem and snub-nosed dogs are all at higher risk of heatstroke.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from overheating – their panting will become heavier and faster, they will become visibly agitated, and they will produce more saliva than normal – you must act immediately to allow them to recover quickly. Take it to a shaded area, give it plenty of water to drink, and cool it by spraying it with cold water.

It’s never a good idea to leave your pets unattended in a car, but under no circumstances should you ever leave one in a car in high temperatures or direct sunlight. Even a few minutes in temperatures above 25C / 77F can present a health risk.

Traveling with pets

Take breaks

If at all possible you should take breaks. Dogs can be taken for short walks, while cats will enjoy the opportunity to move around the car freely even if they can’t be let out. Use this time to give your pet some much needed comfort and attention.


Written by Lionel Thain of online competition site MyOffers. Visit them at for a chance to win petrol, insurance and even cars.

*Post in collaboration with MyOffers.


Filed under Pets world, What's new

Unusual animals that make great pets


Cats, dogs, hamsters or budgies are the most common of all domestic pets but the UK is developing a taste for more exotic animals.

An article in The Daily Mail in 2013 informed the public that jellyfish are gaining in popularity in Southampton after the town sold out of specialist water tanks.

Whether or not a jellyfish makes a great pet is another matter but it’d certainly be quiet and require minimal exercise! Here we look at a range of other unusual animals that make great pets and offering interesting alternatives to the traditional pet options.

What is a great pet?

A great pet is an animal that is also a companion. The animal won’t dominate your house, should be obedient and easy to train.

If you live in a retirement living development you’ll probably want an animal that requires minimal upkeep, which means dogs and cats are not always suitable. Fish, birds and other indoor-only animals are usually a safe bet but what other, more exotic options are there?

Giant pet snails

This hand-sized mollusc is growing in popularity as a pet. They are illegal in the United States, but the giant African land snail is available and legal in the UK. They don’t make a mess, are partial to cucumbers and lettuce, and can be kept in an outside enclosure without too much trouble.

Giant pet snails live for around 14 years and if you want a pet that you can talk at rather than walk, then this species is ideal!

Cuddly and exotic

Pygmy goats are wonderful if you have enough land to be able to house the animal. They can be affectionate, and many famous people (including Abraham Lincoln) have kept one of these charming animals.

Once the goat becomes familiar with your voice, it will respond to you and therefore could provide you with an enduring and amusing companion.

Potbellied pigs

This small and intelligent pig can be great fun. You must buy from a reputable dealer, as there have been instances of people purchasing what they thought was a miniature piglet only to find that it just kept on growing and resulted in a full size mature pig!

Potbellied pigs are affectionate, so you will be able to stroke it and it will also respond to your voice. Some owners do keep these animals inside, but it’s probably better to house it outdoors.


These adorable furry creatures have a charming temperament and can be kept as domestic pets. Most people keep them in a large cage but also let them wander around the house for exercise.

They have a reputation for bonding with their owners and are perfect if you want a cuddly and responsive pet.

* Post in collaboration with McCarthy & Stone.
Picture source: Pinterest


Filed under Pets world, What's new

Cat Dilemma

Go out?

Go out?

... or stay in?

… or stay in?


July 18, 2014 · 1:51 pm

#YellowDogUK – Same Dogs Need Space

Yellow Dog Banner

I am ashamed to say that until recently I had no idea what Yellow Dog is and what they do… I thought I was fairly well educated when it comes to dog care but it looks like I missed something. It might be due to the fact that our dogs do not need “special treatment” but still the fact remains the same I missed something important… so I decided to make up for this and share my recent discovery with you… just in case you missed it too or you know someone who can use some help in the dog care department.

So what is Yellow Dog UK?

It would take a while for me to explain the finer intricacies so let us hear their words on the subject (after all this is where the gap in my knowledge was filled):

Yellow dog is an international campaign to create awareness around the world that ‘Some Dogs need Space’.

The organiser for the Yellow Dog UK campaign is NarpsUK which is a membership organisation for pet sitters and dog walkers. The CEO of NarpsUK who has nearly 20 years experience in the pet sitting and dog walking industry, she is also a Lantra approved training provider and instructor to teach and educate how to run a pet sitting and dog walking business. The founder says “This is a fantastic campaign and will help and educate dog owners and the public to understand and recognise a dog who ‘needs space”.

NarpsUK decided to start the UK campaign because we know how stressful it can be for a Yellow Dog and its owner when a social dog or off lead dog approaches. We believe that by making the Yellow Ribbon an accepted representation throughout the UK that a dog needs space will benefit everyone and make dog walking more enjoyable experience.

The yellow ribbon or bandanna can be used for short term periods – i.e. whilst a dog is in training or on heat – or long term – for example if a dog is elderly and does not like young lively dogs around him. We support that it is imperative to socialise dogs for their well being and development but also recognise that there are times and circumstances when a dog needs space and this is a way of letting other dog owners this, we hope that the campaign will encourage dog owners to recall their dogs when they see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon, giving that dog and its owner time to move out of your way and to get him used to people and animals.

Yellow Dog

The reasons that dogs may need space are varied and could include:

  • They may be ill
  • They may be old
  • They may be hurt
  • She may be in season
  • They may be in training
  • The dog may be nervous
  • They may have had bad life experiences
  • The person walking him may be nervous of other dogs
  • They may have a new family who are unsure as to their behaviour with other dogs

If you’re walking your dog and see a pooch with a yellow ribbon on its lead or yellow bandana around its neck the message is clear – this dog needs some space.

Yellow Dog Donate Badge


Filed under Pets world, What's new

Microchipping Your Pet – Luxury or Necessity?

Microchipping Your Pet – Luxury or Necessity

A shocking one third of owners are not safeguarding their pets by having them microchipped, and worryingly 21% of pet owners have had a cat or dog stolen. The independent survey carried out by Animal Friends also found that 14% of pet owners who have had a pet stolen or go missing never got their pet back.

Official police data shows the equivalent of at least three cats and dogs were stolen each day last year, according to the organisation Vets Get Scanning. With such high pet theft figures, and since microchips are intended to help reunite a lost pet with its owner, micro-chipping should be an important aspect of owning a pet.

However, this new study reveals that for almost one in six owners this is far from the case: 15% chose ‘I haven’t thought about it’ as the reason behind not micro-chipping their pet, making this the most popular reason given, and demonstrating a lack of public awareness of the identification method.

The animal insurance provider’s research found that one in ten people (10%) chose ‘my pet never leaves my side or somewhere safe like a house’ as their main reason for not getting their pet micro-chipped. However, recent statistics released by Vets Get Scanning found that 52% of pets are in fact stolen from their own gardens, while 19% are taken from people’s homes in a house burglary.

Awareness of micro-chipping may not be enough to secure a safe return should your pet go missing, though: Animal Friends’ study also addressed an issue concerning vets not making use of the microchips pets are carrying.

Currently, vets do not routinely scan animals brought in to them – something that the majority of people questioned view as wrong: 72% of those surveyed think that all animals admitted to a vet’s care should have their microchips checked. Just 21% believe the vet should need a reason, saying this should only be done if the vet is suspicious that the pet may be stolen.

From April 2016, it will be mandatory for all dogs to be micro-chipped, and Vets Get Scanning notes that the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has now stated: “We support scanning new patients as best practice”, indicating that micro-chipping pets is the future, and that it should become increasingly effective as scanning becomes routine.

Debbie Matthews, daughter of presenter and entertainer Sir Bryce Forsyth, is one high-profile believer that vets should routinely scan pets admitted to their care. After her Yorkshire Terriers, Gizmo and Widget, were stolen from her car, Debbie was horrified to hear that vets don’t scan pets for microchips – meaning that the identification devices in her dogs wouldn’t necessarily help her find them.

In fact, it was only through the media attention the case attracted that Debbie was reunited with her pets. Debbie is now an active campaigner of the Vets Get Scanning petition to get vets to adopt a practice policy where all dogs that come into their practice are routinely scanned for microchips on their first visit.

Debbie told Animal Friends: “Each vet practice sets their own practice policy, which means although BVA (British Veterinary Association) now states it is ‘best practice’ to scan new registering pets, they don’t all have to. We started the campaign after we found out that when a stolen dog is sold on to an unsuspecting new owner, no scan would be done on registering a new pet accompanied by an owner.

Microchips only reunite pet and owner if a pet is scanned. Owners of microchipped pets assume that this is already happening but it appears they are wrong. You only find out who is and who is not scanning when your pet goes missing or is stolen.

This campaign is now aimed not just at vets but also rehoming centres, dog wardens, highway agencies and rail networks. It’s not hard to see why so many missing dogs and cats are never found with the lack of scanning going on.”

Further stats are available at Animal Friends. There is a lot of interesting facts and numbers so visit their site and have a read. And please share it with your family and friends.

*This post is an official press release.
**Picture source – Animal Friends


Filed under Pets world, What's new

10 Reasons Why Retractable Leashes Are Dangerous

10 Reasons Why Retractable Leashes Are Dangerous

By Dr. Becker

A retractable leash is not so much a leash as it is a length of thin cord wound around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle. The handles of most retractable leashes are designed to fit comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle controls how much of the cord is extended.

Retractable leashes are popular primarily because they aren’t as confining as regular leashes, allowing dogs more freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. But unfortunately, there are many downsides to this type of leash.

10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash

  1. The length of retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allows dogs to get far enough away from their humans that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people.
  2. In the above scenario, or one in which your pet is being approached by an aggressive dog, it is nearly impossible to get control of the situation if the need arises. It’s much easier to regain control of – or protect — a dog at the end of a six-foot standard flat leash than it is if he’s 20 or so feet away at the end of what amounts to a thin string.
  3. The thin cord of a retractable leash can break – especially when a powerful dog is on the other end of it. If a strong, good-sized dog takes off at full speed, the cord can snap. Not only can that put the dog and whatever he may be chasing in danger, but also the cord can snap back and injure the human at the other end.
  4. If a dog walker gets tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash, or grabs it in an attempt to reel in their dog, it can result in burns, cuts, and even amputation. In addition, many people have been pulled right off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going. This can result in bruises, “road rash,” broken bones, and worse.
  5. Dogs have also received terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash, including neck wounds, lacerated tracheas, and injuries to the spine.
  6. Retractable leashes allow dogs more freedom to pull at the end of them, which can look like aggression to another dog who may decide to “fight back.”
  7. The handles of retractable leashes are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands, resulting in a runaway dog.
  8. Along those same lines, many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorized by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog’s fear is then “chasing” her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can’t escape it. Even if this scenario ultimately ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.
  9. Retractable leashes, like most retractable devices, have a tendency to malfunction over time, either refusing to extend, refusing to retract, or unspooling at will.
  10. Retractable leashes are an especially bad idea for dogs that haven’t been trained to walk politely on a regular leash. By their very nature, retractables train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead.

If your dog is well trained, gentle mannered and smart enough to master a regular leash and a retractable leash without being confused, you could be one of the rare guardians that can walk your pooch on any kind of leash without increasing risks to either one of you.

* Please note that I am not the author of this post. It was written by Dr. Becker for Healthy Pets.


Filed under Pets world, What's new

Top Collar – Perfecting Perfection

Top Collar – Fresh, Fun, Natural Pet Treats

Earlier this year we had the pleasure of trying the ‘Sunday Roast Natural Pet Treats’ from Top Collar, now they are back. Same tasty treats but in perfected packaging.

Last time round we couldn’t fault them in any way. They were perfect in our opinion, but apparently we were wrong. The owner of Top Collar thought that the treats could be so much more, so they got a make-over.

The recipe for the treats is still the same but the packaging is not.

Top Collar – Fresh, Fun, Natural Pet Treats - new packaging

They still come in a flat cardboard box which will fit through the letter box, but instead of loose cookies inside, now they are placed in a re-sealable bag to keep them fresh for longer.

Top Collar Fresh, Fun, Natural Pet Treats

This change is brilliant.

First time round when our cookies arrived, after opening the box we placed them in a cookie jar; now there is no need for it. They can stay in the bag until they are all gone.

Lilly and Top Collar – Fresh, Fun, Natural Pet Treats

Our dogs really enjoy them. Even Barnie got to try them and he seems to be a new fan.

Barnie and Top Collar – Fresh, Fun, Natural Pet Treats

Top Collar is running a subscription program – Join ‘The Pack’. For £8.99 a month you will receive two surprise boxes of these lovely healthy treats delivered to your door through the post. To make the offer even more appealing you can personalise your boxes – just tell Top Collar about your pet dietary requirements and they will match it up to assure a perfect choice every time. But this isn’t all – currently you can receive a free box of treats! Yes, you are reading it right – free treats for your pooch (offer is valid if you join the pack and subscribe for monthly delivery). Just follow the simple instructions on the Free Box tab and soon your four legged friends will be able to enjoy these lovely treats absolutely free.

So what are you waiting for?

Go and join the pack!

Give cookie!

Give cookie!

* Product was provided free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own .


Filed under Pets world, Reviews