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Depressed dogs Print E-mail
Monday, 06 July 2015 11:22

Dogs are naturally social animals - so being left home alone for hours on end can result in aggression or destructive behaviour.  A study by a UK vet group suggests that as many as 80% of Britain's 10 million dogs suffer from depression and other disorders.  Earlier this year the PDSA blamed problem behaviour on dogs being left alone for hours while their owners are at work, and in June a Swiss study claimed that our frenetic lifestyles cause dogs psychological stress and anxiety.  Many vets are treating anxious dogs with anti depressants such as diazepam, xanax and fluoxetine which may offer respite to the owner but without the additional use of therapy, the dogs never learn to cope with their anxiety.  Drugs may be a quick fix but with time and patience many dogs learn to relax without any medication at all.  Surely therapy, rather than drugs, should be a caring owner's first port of call?

Make friends ... get a dog Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 July 2015 09:01

Way back Jilly Cooper's memorable book The Common Years made clear that if you want to meet new people and make friends, the best way to do it is ... get a dog! Years later, research by insurance company Direct Line shows that nothing has changed - 29% of owners have met lifelong friends while walking their dog.  It's intriguing to learn that 52% of Britons think people with dogs are friendlier than lone walkers and 46% believe that loving animals makes a person more attractive (57% in London)! 

Hot dogs Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 11:54

The media have been full of warnings for people to be careful during this heatwave - but please spare a thought for our canine friends too.  Most dogs really suffer in the heat - especially those with heavy coats - and probably don't need a walk at all. If they do go out, it should be either very early in the morning or late evening.  It's great if you live near the sea or a river or lake for swimming but if not, do consider a paddling pool for the garden.  Sorry to state the obvious but people do forget just how uncomfortable heat is for dogs and car journeys without aircon can be utter misery...

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