Paws.com Dog Food Checker to revolutionise pet food industry

Pet food retailer, Paws.com has launched a dog food checker set to revolutionise the UK pet food industry.

The dog food checker is designed to demystify the complex world of dog food ingredients, and for the first time, make it easy for dog owners to make the best nutrition decisions for their pets at a glance.

The simple tool, said to be the most comprehensive and up-to-date of its kind, allows users to search for any dry dog food sold in UK supermarkets and Amazon’s bestseller list, and provides a ‘traffic light’ rating for each nutritional component of the food.

It is the world’s first traffic light grading system for dog food, giving green, amber and red ratings – similar to on human food labels.

The tool also allows users to compare different foods, making it easy to understand the nutritional values and trade-offs between price and quality.

Alongside the checker, Paws.com has released the UK Dog Food Transparency Report – the most extensive research of UK dog food labels ever don.

The results of the report show that dog food brands rely on misleading labelling to avoid revealing the exact ingredients in their dog food products, with 95% of dog food owned by bog brands containing at least one undisclosed ingredient.

This means that brands are opting to use generic terms in their ingredients list – such as ‘meat and animal derivatives’, which could include breaks, hoovers, feathers and wool.

Paws.com’s research shows that 42% of dogs owners felt misled after finding out that food labelled as ‘with chicken’ could contain as little as 4% chicken (which is true for all meat varieties – such as lamb, beef and salmon).

As such, dog owners across the UK are calling for clearer labelling, with 89% of dog owners saying its important hat dog food labels list exact ingredients.

Currently almost half (47%) of dog owners say they find it hard to understand a dog food label, and over a third (39%) can’t tell if a food will be good for their dog or not.

To tackle this, Paws.com only sells food that disclose their exact ingredients and meet a standard of quality and nutrition, devised by a team of veterinary and pet nutrition experts.

Neil Hutchinson, Founder and CEO of Paws.com, said: “We want to radically transform the way pet parents think about the dog food they buy. Currently, most dog food labels aren’t helpful and its easy for well-meaning pet parents to buy something they believe is great for their dog, but actually doesn’t even come close to giving them the nutrition they need to thrive.

“Our Dog Food Checker, which has the world’s first traffic light system for dog food, aims to empower pet parents to understand the nutritional value of any food at a glance. Your pet is family, so why wouldn’t you want to know what you’re feeding them?”

For more information you can visit www.paws.com/dog-food-checker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RSPCA launch appeal after three bald puppies dumped in vet practice

The RSPCA is appealing for information after three bald puppies were dumped at a vet practice in West Yorkshire.

Two Staffy-types were left at West Mount Vets in Halifax, West Yorkshire on Thursday 7 February, by a man wearing a hoody and a tracksuit.

The man carried a box into the reception area, put it down and left before staff realised what was happening. When staff opened the box, they found two completely bald puppies.

RSPCA Inspector Sarah Bagley, who is investigating, said: “One is blue-coloured, and the other is cream-coloured. They are both female and thought to be around four months old. Neither of them had any hair on their body, which is a result of them having a severe case of the skin condition demodetic mange.”

The puppies were taken to RSPCA Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch Animal Centre where they’re on daily medication and having regular medicated baths. They have both been named after Harry Potter characters, the blue one named Dobby and the cream one Winky.

Gena Cameron, branch administrator, said: “I’m so happy to say that they’re improving every day. They were really nervous when they arrived and shaking. Now they are running around the animal centre arena having loads of fun, playing with toys and barking at people. They’ve really come out of their shells.

“Their skin was so red and angry-looking when they first got here but their fur has already started growing back at the base of their tails. It’ll be some tie until they’re able to rehome them, but things are definitely going in the right direction.”

A third puppy was taken into the same vet practice in a box by a man wearing a hoody and tracksuit – thought to be the same man. He spoke to the receptionist who took some details from him When she went to fetch a nurse he left, leaving the puppy behind.

The puppy- a blue coloured male names Albus – was collected by an RSPCA officer and taken to RSPCA Leeds & Wakefield Branch Animal Centre to join his litter-mates.

Inspector Bagley added: “It’s unbelievable that someone has dumped these puppies in this way not once but twice. Staff checked the details given by the man, which included a telephone number which is unobtainable.

“Its taken a long time for the mange to take hold like this, in fact it’s thought these puppies have probably had it for most of their lives. I am very concerned about any other animals this person may have in their care.”

If anyone has any information, the RSPCA are asking you to call the appeal line 0300 120 0010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath Cats and Dogs Home Wag Walk returns for 2019

Bath Cats and Dogs Home is pleased to announce the return of their charity dog walk across the Bath.

The ‘Wag Walk’ will take place on Sunday 12th May to help raise funds to help support the charity’s work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming unwanted and abandoned local animals in need.

Anyone wishing to take part in the event can choose either the two or five mile route and enjoy an organised walk across the beautiful Bath countryside.

Every dog that takes part gets a doggie bandana and goodie bag, with the charity hoping to have as many as 225 dogs join them for the walk this year.

The walk which starts and finishes at Bath Cats and Dogs Home cost £15 per dog with discounts on multiple dogs and free parking available on site.

For more information on the walk you can visit www.bcdh.org.uk/wagwalk.

 

Rescued kitten gets emergency life-saving blood transfusion

A kitten who was rescued by the RSPCA needed an emergency blood transfusion to save its life.

A ginger kitten who was rescued by the RSPCA and was severely anaemic was given an emergency blood transfusion by vets to save its life.

The little kitten was just five weeks old and was found at a property in Milton Keynes, living in unsuitable conditions. He was covered in fleas which had become so severe he was anaemic and very weak.

The RSPCA took him to Milton Keynes Veterinary Group at the Walnut Tree where it was decided he would need an emergency blood transfusion to save his life.

Sue Taft, at RSPCA Milton Keynes branch, said: “This poor kitten was signed over after he was found collapsed and nearly died. He was absolutely covered in fleas and severely anaemic, so the vets decided his only hope was a blood transfusion, so I took my own cat Brian down to help out.

“As soon as the blood went in, the little kitten started to pick up and after a few days he was happy and eating again like kittens do. We called him Brian Junior after our own lovely cat who saved his life.”

Brian Junior was taken into RSPCA care last October and went into foster care where he received some much-needed love and attention. The fosterers fell in love with little Brian and decided to give him his forever home.

Sue’s four-year old tabby cat Brian was also rescued by the RSPCA – he came into the charity’s care with a badly mangled leg which needed amputating before Sue gave him his forever home.

Brian senior has donated blood to help other Moggies previously, this does require a light sedation, but Brian was back to his old self within hours. As with any sedation, there are some risks but also lots of benefits in rehabilitating cats like Brian Junior.

The RSPCA said: “There are a variety of conditions which can cause severe anaemia in cats and this can sometimes result in the need for a life-saving blood transfusion. There may be a lot of information out there about humans donating blood but the idea of pets giving blood is less known.

“Sadly, flea anaemia is a relatively common cause of death in young kittens. If owners are concerned about fleas on their pets, they should speak to their vet who will be able to provide the most effective and safe treatments.”

Most cats will need to be sedated for blood transfusion and this in itself carries a small risk as the drugs used in sedation can lower blood pressure which could be a problem if your cat has any underlying heart of kidney disease. The removal of the blood itself also lowers blood pressure adding to the risk.

A full clinical examination of your cat and some blood tests should be carried out by a vet first to ensure they are a suitable donor.

More information can be found here: https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/blood-donor-cats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chuckit! unveils new Rugged Fetch Wheel toy for tougher play

Responding to consumer demand, Chuckit! introduces the third edition to its popular Rugged range.

The brand-new Rugged Fetch Wheel is designed to withstand the roughest play from stronger dogs.

Increasing its offer and providing retailers with even more ways to cater to the needs of this specific market, the new Chuckit! Rugged Fetch Wheel is made from a strong TPR material with robust polypropylene core, which provides rigidity and strength – giving consumers even more choice when it comes to selecting toys that will stand the test of time, and teeth.

Durable and robust, the Rugged Fetch Wheel boasts a wide rounded shape that is easy to get rolling with either an underhand or overhand throw.

The new toy is available in two bright colours for easy retrieval, the high-quality over-molded TPR ridges ensure dogs can easily pick up and grip the toy during play without puncturing the material.

Also ideal for use on both land and in the water, the Rugged Fetch Wheel floats, giving consumers more variation and product longevity when it comes to playtime with their dogs.

Will Baggaley, Brand Manager for Chuckit, comments: “As consumers continue to seek out and invest in higher quality products that are built to last, expanding our options for tougher breeds was important to us. We know durable toys for rougher play are not always readily available for consumers and we’re excited to be launching the Rugged Fetch Wheel this year.”

The Rugged Fetch Wheel is available to buy now at RRP £14.99. For more information on Chuckit! visit the website www.chuckit-toys.co.uk/stockist-map.

 

Abandoned kittens spent Valentine’s Day at Battersea

A litter of kittens were taken to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home after being found abandoned on a doorstep.

The five tiny domestic short-hairs named Cupid, Arrow, Valentine, Sweetheart and Aphrodite spent Valentine’s Day at the charity’s London Centre, being showered with affection.

Panther-like Domestic short-hair Johnnie

The kittens are estimated to be around six weeks old and will be looked after by a Battersea foster carer in a cosy and comfortable home, until they are old enough to go to their new homes.

These lucky young cats have owners lined up ready to adopt them when the time comes, but there are many other cats at Battersea who remain unlucky and still searching for that special someone.

Cats like Ruby, a ten-year old Domestic short-hair who has been patiently waiting for her perfect match for 67 days, more than three times the average length of a stay for a Battersea cat.

Seven-year old Domestic short-hair Twizzle has a lot of love to give but has been overlooked for 88 days because of a medical condition. And panther-like Johnnie, a seven-year old Domestic short-hair who’s a big softy at heart and enjoys lapping up human company.

Battersea’s Cattery Manager, Rachel Saunders, said: “The sight of our latest litter of kittens is enough to melt the coldest of hearts, they are incredibly sweet cats and we couldn’t resist sharing photos to help spread the feline love this Valentine’s Day.

“All of our cats deserve love and a special someone to call their own. We hope that anyone who has love to spare will consider adopting one of our wonderful cats. Whether you’re looking for a friend to curl up in your lap, or a livewire to keep you on your toes, our rehoming team will help you to find your perfect match.”

If you are looking for your perfect match this Valentine’s Day, or are interested in becoming a foster carer, please visit www.battersea.org.uk.

Caring for pets with epilepsy

The UK’s leading vet charity, PDSA share advice for pet owners on how to care for pets with epilepsy.

Would you know what to do if you pet has a seizure? Many of the illness’s pets can suffer from are the same as those we might develop too.

Epilepsy is one example and in their Pet Care Column this week, the PDSA advise that although there is no cure, it can be controlled and managed.

PDSA Vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, said: “It can be very distressing to see your beloved pet have a seizure. They occur when large groups of nerve cells in the brain suddenly fire at the same time.

“In younger pets, seizures are often due to “idiopathic”, or primary, epilepsy. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but it is often manageable with medication. Other causes can include tumours, trauma or inflammation in the brain.”

Idiopathic epilepsy is hereditary, but can be more common in certain dog breeds, such as Border Terriers, Poodles, German Shepherds, Collies, Golden Retrievers and Labradors.

The PDSA advise that pets can usually have their first seizure between six months and six years of age.

“Sometimes, a pet will behave in an unusual way before the seizure. Signs include restlessness, whining, shaking or hiding. This is known as an ‘aura’. In a full seizure, the pet usually will fall on their size and lose awareness of their surroundings. They may kick or paddle their limbs and lose control of their bladder and bowels.”

Olivia’s top tips if a pet has a seizure include:

  • Switch off the TV, radio and any bright lights to create a calmer environment.
  • Move hazards such as furniture to prevent them hurting themselves.
  • Do not try to move or touch your pet until they are recovered.
  • But do move them onto the floor if they are at risk of falling.
  • Time how long the fit lasts for, or film it on your phone to show your vet.
  • Be careful, as fitting pets can hurt themselves or you because they are not aware of what they are doing.
  • If a fit lasts longer than two minutes, or your pet has more than one seizure in 24 hours, contact your vet immediately.

Olivia adds: “Once the seizure is over, pets often feel disorientated and may be unsteady on their feet. Stay close to them at this time as your presence will be a comfort while they regain consciousness.

“Make a note of when the seizure occurred, the signs your pet showed whilst it was happening and how long it lasted to give to your vet. They will assess your pet and, if they suspect epilepsy can run tests to rule out the possible causes.

“If idiopathic epilepsy is diagnosed, your vet can discuss treatment based on how often and how severe your pet’s seizures are. Although there is no cure for idiopathic epilepsy, it’s often possible to reduce the number of seizures a pet is having so they can enjoy a good quality of life. Affected pets should not be bred from.”

The PDSA advise that with the right treatment, and ongoing check-ups, plus understanding and care from owners, pets with epilepsy can enjoy long and happy lives.

 

 

 

 

Shy cats deserve some love too, says RSPCA

The RSPCA is urging potential adopters not to overlook shy cats in catteries.

Cats can be timid for many reasons and the RSPCA is asking potential adopters not to overlook shy kitties in their catteries.

A cat can be shy for a number of reasons, they may have been through a trauma, they could still be very young and learning the ropes, or they might be feeling overwhelmed and frightened in a cattery environment.

There are two shy cats currently looking for homes at RSPCA Southall Cattery in Hounslow.

Lisbon and Lagos came from a multi-cat household where they had little human interaction and were rescued by the RSPCA in December 2018 along with four other cats.

Sam Watson, RSCPA cat welfare expert said: “Sadly, when someone comes to look round an RSPCA centre, few people are interested in the cat that hides away and retreats, or the one that hisses when someone passes by, which is such a shame because although they may never be a lap cat, they could be very happy in a home.

“Sometimes cats come out of their shell once they leave the cattery environment and so it all takes is for someone to give them a chance and they might become wonderful companions. Equally, these chaps might never grow much bolder, so it is important that their new owner is someone who is patient and kind who allows them to just be themselves.”

Tabby cat Lisbon is one-years old and Lagos the ginger cat is two-years old. They are both timid boys who will need a family who are experienced with shy cats.

As they have lived together previously but are not very close, they could be rehomed together or separately. Staff advise that they need to be able to go outside as they are quite independent and would prefer an adult-only home.

Aneel Odwhani, animal care assistant at RSPCA Southall said: “After everything they have been through, they really do deserve a second chance at happiness.”

To give either of these cats a loving home, you can contact the RSPCA Southall Cattery on 0300 123 0746.

 

 

Pets make us happier than a partner, survey reveals

Pets can make you happier than a partner and even reduce your stress levels, a survey by pet charity, Blue Cross has found.

Nearly one in three (30%) owners said their pets made them smile more than their partners, while 32% thought their pet was better at making them feel less stressed and 13% even said their pet had stopped rows with a partner.

The survey of nearly 1,300 pet owners was commissioned by Blue Cross to highlight the importance of pets in our lives, especially on a day where thoughts drift to loves ones, for many people their soulmate may be their beloved pet.

More than a quarter of owners (28%) said they thought their pet was better at comforting them than a partner, while 20% said they thought their pet was a better listener.

However, the survey also found that couples had more fun and spent more time together when they had a pet.

Nearly a third of owners (32%) said a pet had helped to bring more fun into their relationship, while nearly a quarter (23%) said it had brought the closer together as a couple and 21% said the pet had led them to spend more time together.

Blue Cross knows the value of pets in our lives and for all the fun and joy, their loss delivers and emotional blow. Sadly 10% of people said they had lost a pet during a break up with a partner, with more than 5% saying they had had to work out visiting hours with an ex.

Diane James, Pet Bereavement Support Service Manager at Blue Cross, said the service often received calls from owners for advice after a relationship breakdown as losing a pet in this way can provide the same grief and confusion as mourning their death.

Diane said: “Just the comforting patter of paws in a home can make us feel safe, secure and loved – exactly what kind of emotions are conjured up on Valentine’s Day. Pets can help us in so many way from calming and supporting us to comforting us and making us smile and laugh. They really are part of the family.

“However, for those couples who have had to go through a breakup it can be double blow to face the devastation of not only losing a partner but a much-loved pet. We also receive calls from owners who have lost a pet that they felt was the last link to a loved one and the loss is like losing them again for that person. Our pets really do mean so much to us.”

Blue Cross’s Pet Bereavement Support Service is part of a range of services run by the pet charity and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The service, which runs 365 days a year, provides support through a confidential telephone helpline and email service. Last year the PBSS team took more than 10,000 calls and answered over 5,000 emails.

If you have lost a pet of know someone who could benefit from the Blue Cross pet Bereavement Service contact 0800 096 6606 or find out more at www.bluecross.org.uk.

 

 

RSPCA reveal ‘most unloved’ breeds of dog in their care

This Valentine’s Day, The RSPCA reveals the ‘most unloved’ breeds of dogs who struggle to fund their perfect partner.

The average time it takes to rehome a dog in RSPCA care is 38 days, but sadly for some of the animals in the charity’s care they have to wait a little bit longer.

The latest data from the charity shows that Rhodesian Ridgebacks have waited the longest for their forever homes, with an average stay of 118 days, while English Bull Terrier crosses wait 97 days and American Bulldogs 76 days.

Despite recently being voted Britain’s most loved dog, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most frequently seen dog breed in RSPCA care and also wait longer than average for love – 47 days.

Lisa Hens, pet welfare expert at the RSPCA, said: “The staff who care for our animals day in and day out know just how loveable each and every one is and how different they are from one another but we do find that dogs of some breeds sadly take longer to find their perfect match.

“This is probably due to a combination of reasons. For example, size or beliefs about particular breeds and types can stop people from even considering the possibility of adopting certain dogs. And with so many of the same type of dog in our care, it can be difficult for individuals to stand out from the crowd, despite their great potential. Sadly, in some cases, animals are overlooked just because of how they look.

“We would urge anyone looking for a pet to do their research, especially as the reputation of a particular breed or type is often undeserved. Just like people, all dogs are individuals and they should find out if they are a good match for that particular animal to see if they can offer them a loving home.”

Smaller breeds tend to wait less time for example Toy Poodle cross spend the least amount of time looking for a home within the 14 that the RSPCA rehomed waiting an average of ten days, pugs wait an average of 12 days and Shih-tzu crosses 14 days.

This Valentine’s Day, the RSPCA is showcasing the pets in its care who have been waiting the longest.

Blue the Lucher has been in RSPCA care for a total of 455 days and during that time has seen many of his kennel mates find their forever come at the RSPCA’s Suffolk East and Ipswich branch.

Blue first went into RSPCA care in May 2017 as his previous owner was unable to look after him and was rehomed the following month. Unfortunately, he returned to RSPCA care in November 2017 and has been reserved only once since, which sadly fell through.

Centre Manager, Zoe Barrett, said: “If you want a dog to for and sit and have a cuddle with all the staff here, go and sit with Blue. He is a real favourite for all of us- we absolutely adore him and just want to see him settle in a long-term home.”

If you think you could give Blue or any of the dogs waiting for new homes in RSPCA you can visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.