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Rescue dog to super dog Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 June 2016 08:43

There seem to have been several dog-related programmes on television lately - some better than others.  But the most heartwarming and uplifting has been Channel Four's Rescue Dog to Super Dog. In case you missed it, two very talented dog trainers scoured Battersea Dogs' Home and Dogs Trust rescue centres to find dogs suitable for training as assistance dogs to people with very specific needs - in the space of three months!  So the process was cheaper and quicker and more tailor-made than traditionally trained assistance dogs - but the pleasure that these abandoned dogs brought their disabled owners was a joy to see.   This was a win-win situation. Let us hope that Channel Four continues with the series...

Make it a PLASTIC stick! Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:53

Lots of dogs love chasing and retrieving sticks and a lot of owners think not only is it a great game for the two of them but also a way of exercising their four legged friend.  But the British Veterinary Association has warned that it is a dangerous practice that can result in horrific injuries, including getting stuck in the throat.  They advise the use of plastic sticks instead which will not cause splinters nor get swallowed.

Insurance ... the big gamble Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 June 2016 07:29

More than three million dogs in this country are now covered by insurance, with premiums costing an average of £240 per year.  But is it worth it?

Four out of 10 pet insurance claims are rejected with insurance companies using every excuse in the book not to pay, including that your dog is too old or had a pre-existing medical condition.  This rejection rate of 37% is much higher than for motor insurance where just 1% of claims are rejected.  Complaints about pet insurance have rocketed: the Financal Ombudsman received 1,089 complaints in the 12 months up to April.  Some of this rise is due to owners trying to claim for alternative treatments such as hydrotherapy or acupuncture; even though vets are increasingly offering such therapies many insurers refuse to cover such claims. 

Another concern is that insurance firms such as Royal Sun Alliance - which comands a 30% share of the market and is underwriter for MoreThan and Tesco - has limited which vet practices can be used for specialist treatment to just 28 in the UK.  Of these, there is just one in the whole of the south west of England and two in Scotland - which may mean long journeys.  If the owner chooses another expert they could face a £200 penalty.  RSA plans to extend this limitation to other policies offered by, for example, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, arguing that the change relates only to non-emergency referrals.  It has also said it aims to increase the number of approved centres to between 40 and 50 by 2017.

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