my dog uk Blog
At my dog uk we like to keep up to date with the latest from dog lovers.
Here's a selection of news and ideas for you to enjoy.
June is National Microchipping Month! Over the month we will be bringing you information about microchipping, as well as offers from our partner Petlog. Petlog is the UK’s largest microchip database, with over 6 million pets registered.
But what is National Microchipping Month all about? Isn’t microchipping just something for dangerous dogs?
Not at all, Microchipping your dog creates a permanent link between you and your dog and can help reunite you, should your dog go missing. In this blog we will be covering the essential information every dog owner should know about microchipping.
What is a microchip and how is it implanted?
A microchip is a small device just larger than a grain of rice. It electronically stores a unique code, which is matched to your contact information on a database. The microchip is implanted under the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades using a special device. A dog’s skin has very few nerve endings so the implant is painless and once it’s there he won’t feel it at all.
How much do they cost and where can we get one implanted?
Microchipping has gone down dramatically in price recently, now costing around £15-30. Keep an eye out for special offers and you may be able to chip your dog for even less, or perhaps even free.
Microchips can be fitted by vets, at Pets At Home and by rescue centres including Dog’s Trust. Some breeders and breed clubs can do it too.
Which chip and database should I choose?
We recommend Petlog as the most comprehensive service with the widest range of microchips from leading brands, such as Tracer Advance, registered on their database. Remember to ask the vet or implanter for a Petlog compliant chip.
How do I get help finding my chipped dog?
If your dog goes missing the first thing to do is to register your dog as lost on the relevant database. If you are a Petlog Premium customer there is a 24hr helpline and a lost pet alert service to notify vets, rescues and local authorities in a 30 mile radius from where your dog went missing.
You can also trigger a Lost Pet Alert straight from your phone with the free my dog uk app for Android and iPhones. Find out more in our blog. You will have to become a member of Petlog Premium to trigger mobile Lost Pet Alerts, but throughout National Microchipping Month you can upgrade to Petlog Premium for just a £7.50 one-off fee.
How is the chip read and who can read it?
The microchip can be scanned by a special device held by dog wardens, vets, rescues and local authorities. They scan the chip and read the unique code and then match it to your details held on the chip database. If your records are up to date they can contact you with the good news.
What do I do if I move house or buy a dog with a microchip already, can I change the details?
If you need to change your details you must contact the microchip database. Petlog Premium customers can change their details as many times as they like. It is recommended that owners check their details are up-to-date once every year.
If you buy a dog that has already been chipped, you will have to gain the unique code from the previous owner. That way you can ensure the details are updated and your new dog is tracked back to you via the microchipping database.
Interest in our four-legged friends has grown in intensity in the last couple of months with a new BBC programme, a media frenzy over compulsory microchipping and an exciting update to the my dog uk app. If you’ve missed any of these great events then do not fear, this week we have a round up all the big dog news (big news, not just news for Great Danes). And Pudsey!
It’s for me too!
Don’t Blame the Dog
Last month saw the launch of a new BBC Three series about dogs – particularly those that act rather naughtily! The show hunts down those dogs in the UK who simply can’t behave themselves. What they find are owners that simply do not discipline their canine companions.
The programme challenges owners to spend a week with people whose lives depend on their dogs, perhaps to Canada to learn dog training tips from an army dog handler or South Africa to learn how dogs are used to ward-off poachers.
The wonderful thing about the programme is it helps the owners realise that it is their behaviour that is making their pets act badly; the problem isn’t simply disobedient dogs.
Who to hold accountable for bad canine behaviour has also been a hot topic in political terms as the debate over compulsory microchipping moved to centre stage last month. New recommendations were put forward by DEFRA relating to compulsory microchipping, which resulted in a media storm. The report claims that compulsory chipping will reduce the risk of dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners.
MPs are being encouraged to hold a consultation on the idea of amending the law to see what the public and the various dog organisations and charities have to say on the matter.
While many agree that this method will not solve the problem of dangerous and misbehaving dogs, there is another good reason to ask all dog owners to microchip their pet. Microchipping is one of the best and most effective ways of making sure that you and your dog are reunited if he/she should ever go for a walk without you. Local authorities, rescues and vets can scan the microchip of a lost dog and bring up the contact details of the owner.
Dog charities including the Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club and the RSPCA all agree that compulsory microchipping would cut down on the number of dogs stuck in kennels simply because their owners cannot be tracked down.
Lost Pet Alert
Even if your dog is microchipped and you have kept all your details up-to-date, it would still be upsetting just sitting around hoping that your dog will be found and returned before something bad happens. The UK’s biggest microchipping registration database, Petlog, helps you proactively get involved in finding your lost dog if it goes missing.
We have teamed up with Petlog to make their service even better with the new Petlog Lost Pet Alert feature on the my dog uk app. By activating a Lost Pet Alert, you instantly let Petlog know your dog has gone on a walkabout. If you are a Petlog Premium member (a lifelong upgrade that costs just £10) they will also alert local authorities and vets within a 30 mile radius to tell them your pet is missing, dramatically increasing the chance of your dog being returned safe and sound.
Without the app you would have to tell Petlog that your dog has gone missing over the phone or the internet. Normally this would require a trip back home to collect your reference number, wasting precious time. The Lost Pet Alert speeds the process up, making it quicker and easier to alert Petlog that your dog has gone missing.
Using the combined technology of microchipping and mobile phones, the my dog uk app can also make it easier to know where your dog disappeared. Using the GPS coordinates of your phone you are able to pinpoint the exact place you lost them. For more details or to download the app, visit our site here.
Last but not least, we thought that you might like to know about a new online channel DOGTV. This television network has grown exponentially in the past few months, existing only on local networks in California in its early days, and now available to dog-lovers across the globe.
What makes DOGTV so special is that the channel is geared solely towards stay-at-home dogs, who may suffer anxiety or loneliness when their owners are out of the house. According to the Telegraph, the network is headed towards “national distribution”, so we may see more of this canine channel in the coming months.
We have some very exciting news this week: we have now updated the my dog uk app to integrate Petlog. This unique Lost Pet Alert service allows users to report their dog as lost and get help finding it, all at the touch of a button – because we know how heartbreaking it is losing a loyal friend.
Petlog, from the Kennel Club, is the UK’s largest registry of micro-chipped animals with over 6 million registered pets. By launching their service on the my dog uk app, Petlog have ensured that you can get help finding your lost dog as soon as it goes missing…wherever you are.
So how does the Lost Pet Alert work?
Once you have registered your micro-chipped dog with Petlog you simply enter your dog’s microchip and Petlog ID number into the app. Then, should the worst happen and your beloved pup runs off, you simply use the app to alert Petlog. Your phone will send your GPS coordinates (If you have just lost your dog) or gives you the option of sending a postcode or description of the last place you saw them.
If you are a Petlog Premium member then Petlog will also send out a Lost Pet Alert to local authorities and vets in a 30 mile radius and will automatically mark your dog as lost on the database. You can upgrade to a premium membership easily online (£10 one-off fee) or over the phone (£15 one-off fee).
Is it worth micro-chipping my dog?
According to a 2011 study by the Dogs Trust, 32% of dogs returned to their owner are reunited thanks to their microchip. Microchips are a small implant that can be placed in almost any animal and unlike collars there is no chance of them falling off or getting damaged. They are basically like an internal collar that can be scanned – your dog might not know his address, but at least the microchip will.
Moreover, implanting a microchip under your dogs skin may soon be compulsory under UK law. Plans will be announced today but we expect to hear ministers telling us that every new puppy will need to be microchipped.
And how much is the my dog uk app?
The app also shows you a map of dog friendly businesses in your area (using your GPS), gives you tips on dog care and health, contains a directory of dog care professionals and vets, and many other things besides. To see all the free features visit our website.
We like to celebrate all things dog related and at mydog uk we are all about happy healthy dogs. That is why we went along to Crufts 2012 to demonstrate how the mydog uk app can help you care for your dog by giving you advice on breed, dog training and finding local dog care professionals. We even have an add-on to help keep your dog trim and healthy – fitdog.
One thing we must admit: seeing that many beautiful dogs in one place always makes us go ‘Awwww….’
That is probably why we are supporting the Give Your Dog A Bone Awards being held by Drontal. You can upload your favourite pics and videos of your dog and rate others’. There are lots of fantastic prizes up for grabs, including a holiday for 2 for £1000 and high definition cameras, plus each category winner will receive an exclusive ‘Bonies’ golden bone award! (see website for details)
To enter you just need to sign up and upload your best picture before May 31st to be in with a chance of winning.
There are four categories for you to enter: Most Loveable Mutt, Heroic Pet, Special Bond and Most Entertaining Video.
There are some truly brilliant pictures already submitted, so best get yours in now for the best chance of winning. You can see all our favourite pictures on our Facebook page but for now here are a couple of our favourites:
Check out Jasper and Billy, both age 1, having a good old giggle together!
Then there’s loveable Hoopy, age 4, saying “cheese” for the camera:
It’s difficult to look at these pictures without causing a big grin to spread across your face. These soppy animals really are our best friends. They make us laugh, cheer us up when we’re down and stay loyal to us when we feel we’re alone. So show a little appreciation this month and Give Your Dog A Bone by showing-off her best photos!
And don’t forget, the mydog uk app is available free on Android marketplace and Apple app store. We’ll help you find local dog friendly cafés, bars, hotels and restaurants, give you care and first aid advice for you puppy or dog, provide you with discounts and offers on lots of dog care products and much much more.
It’s Sunday morning. You slip on your coat, clip the lead onto your trusty companion and pop down the road to the newsagents. Tying the lead firmly to the railing outside you go in, pick up a newspaper and exchange a few pleasantries with the shopkeeper. Outside you notice dog and lead have gone. Your first reaction is it must have come loose. But as the minutes spent looking turn into hours, a more sinister possibility emerges…
Dognapping is every dog-owners’ worst nightmare. While conclusive statistics are hard to come-by it is estimated that 10 per cent of the 130,000 dogs that go missing every year are stolen. Jayne Hayes, founder of charity Dog Lost, says the recession has caused this number to increase. “We see 150 to 200 cases a week,” she said last week after a dramatic case in which a 16-week-old puppy was snatched by two thieves on a motorbike. “People just grab the dogs and sell them on and they get away with it because the police don’t do much.” More common is for thefts to last just a few of hours – with the thieves waiting until a reward is offered before returning the family pet.
So what is the best way to protect your pampered pooch? The Dog’s Trust suggests neutering pedigree dogs to protect them from criminal breeders, and implanting microchips. But in recent years a host of companies have also sprung up offering extra services. One example is PetGen, which stores a sample of your dog’s DNA for conclusive identification. But Jon Bryan, co-founder of Retrieva which manufactures GPS collars, says prevention is still the best protection. “Dog-napping is often a secondary crime that happens as an after thought,” he says. “The biggest challenge is still complacency. Many owners don’t view their pets in the same way they would see their possessions.” So next time you pop out for a newspaper ask yourself: ‘Would you still risk making the trip with your house unlocked?’
Every dog lover knows how hard it can be to refuse the pleading eyes of a pet at mealtimes. As the rest of the household gathers around the family table, it is understandable why many of us feel uneasy about putting our four-legged friends in another room or the garden. But is there really any harm in letting our furry friends join us at dinner? And does it matter if we, occasionally, slip them a tasty morsel from our plates?
Aside from the risk of learned behaviour resulting in a begging dog at every meal, treating our pets too often can have far more serious consequences including an increased risk of diabetes and arthritis. But a recent survey by animal welfare charity the PDSA, shows that many of us are still not taking this risk seriously. According to the study, a shocking 35 per cent of dogs in the UK are above their ideal weight – an increase of 21 per cent in just four years. At this rate, almost half the dogs in the UK will be overweight by 2013. So what can you do if you’re worried that your pampered pooch is packing a few extra pounds?
The first step is to find out the extent of the problem. A good place to start is the RSPCAs http://www.petsgetslim.co.uk/ which includes a virtual weight checker allowing you to calculate the ideal weight for your dog’s build and breed. Other options include the FitDog phone app (available from the mydog uk app) offering mini tutorials on checking your dog’s weight and body shape, as well as advice on adjusting their diet accordingly. If you discover your pooch needs to lose weight fast, a host of options are out there – ranging from daily dog walking meet-ups, to canine exercise classes, swimming lessons and dog yoga. But with so many options what is most important is finding out what works.
So if you’ve successful turned your porky pooch into a chiselled canine, or if you just have some good advice for fellow dog lovers, mydog uk wants to hear from you. Just log in, post your comments and let’s avoid making 2013 a year to remember for the wrong reasons.
When nightmarish scenes of looting and violence swept London at the start of August, the Metropolitan police’s canine unit continued to patrol the capital despite the risks. But should the Met be allowed to put working dogs in such dangerous situations?
For canine unit team leader Sergeant Simon Reynolds, the fact police dogs make short work of crowd control frees up resources for other areas and makes his officers safer. “Their physical presence is very powerful,” he explains. “A unit of six dogs can clear a crowd as easily at 30 officers in terms of impact. We can cover a very wide street and nobody will come past us.”
The Metropolitan police say out of a total of 400 dogs, some 30 to 40 were deployed across London on each night of the rioting. But this tactic is not without its risks.
Following the riots the story of one of these working dogs, a three-year old German Shepherd called Obi, hit the headlines when it emerged he had continued to patrol despite suffering multiple skull fractures from a tossed brick. More shocking perhaps than this individual case however is the fact that of the eight dogs patrolling alongside Obi the night he was hurt, not a single one escaped injury – with most suffering cut paws from broken glass or cuts or broken teeth from objects thrown by the rioters. But should this alter how we use police dogs or even avoid using them together?
It is clear from the reaction to Obi’s case that few people would condone taking the canine units off the front line if it means more officers are put at risk. But surely we can afford our working dogs the same protective gear we give to their handlers before they are asked to face a storm of bricks and broken glass?
Why are UK businesses so reluctant to welcome mans’ best friend? We think of ourselves as a nation of dog lovers, yet we limit the time we can spend with our dogs by closing our restaurants, cafes, offices and even our beaches to them.
With innovations like meetup.com (for face-to-face social networking) and now mydog uk (the first social networking app for dog lovers) creating community and more connection between dog owners, why don’t we work together to reverse the trend?
Dog-loving Metrobank are a welcome addition to the high street and hopefully will show other retailers the way. Businesses saw the benefit of being child-friendly years ago. How about a national campaign to make workplaces more dog friendly?
Surely this would lead to a happier work environment, with financial benefits for employers and employees alike and, most important of all, a reduction in the rise of distressed, home-alone dogs.
Why is there so much ignorance about the folly of feeding dogs from the table? Why do some people walk past all the complete and nutritious dog food brands in the supermarket in the mistaken belief that dogs can eat the same as us without coming to any harm?
Isn’t there an organisation that can take up the challenge of educating dog owners?
Why can’t food manufacturers tell us in simple terms how to feed our dogs to help prevent obesity and illness rather than giving us elaborate marketing claims about nutritional content. Why can’t their packaging include warnings about home-prepared food from a trusted independent third party such as the British Veterinary Association and simple guidance on how to feed our dogs for a longer life.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 we are all responsible for our dogs’ welfare and that includes making sure they have a proper diet. Rules are enforced by local councils, animal health officers and the police. But where is the day-to-day practical advice that will encourage us to be responsible carers in the face of escalating food and utility bills and declining real incomes?