Shop of the month - August!
Dog hid inside oven for two days to survive wildfires raging through Greece wildfires!
Rescue workers have spoken about how a dog survived the Greek wildfires by hiding inside an outdoor oven. Loukoumakis was traumatised to the point of being unable to move when he was discovered in the remains of Mati, a town that was all but wiped off the map by the fires. He had crawled into a brick-built hollow behind a garden barbecue area as the inferno raged around him in the town east of Athens last week, killing at least 91 people in one of Greece’s worst natural disasters.
He was singed yellow from the smoke and flames of the fires and was struggling to breathe when he was found. Diana Topali, who is looking after him, said: ‘Even its eyelashes are burnt, I wonder how this dog survived.’ Vietnam's new 'god's hands bridge makes people feel they are walking on clouds' Artemis Kyriakopoulou, an animal rescue volunteer, was out searching with others when she came across Loukoumakis as she tried to gain access to another garden and lured him out with a tin of dog food. ‘I saw there was something like an (outdoors) oven, and I figured if anything were alive, it would be in there,’ Kyriakopoulou, 21, told Reuters Television.
Hundreds of pets and strays are believed to have perished in the blaze, which swept through the seaside town in a matter of hours.Loukoumakis, as he has been named by a vet, is believed to be a stray, aged about four and a half years. ‘He just looked like a burnt shaggy rug,’ Topali said. Girl, 7, gets sexist road signs changed after writing letter Today Loukoumakis has been groomed, is on antibiotics and is slowly recovering. He will stay with Topali until he finds his forever home. Kyriakopoulou added: ‘I’ve rescued a few animals from around here, most of them are so terrified they are completely quiet, so I need to check into the wreckage to find them.
‘This little guy was scared, burnt, starving and limping – I think he might have fractured his back leg. ‘It took me a couple of hours to convince him to come with me. ‘It’s so sad because we haven’t been able to find an owner – unfortunately in many cases, the owner has died in the fire. ‘I am soon heading back to Mati to look for more animals that might have survived.’
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13 dog owners share funny stories which will make you howl with laughter
1. Nicole, London I have a chihuahua puppy who is always super-charged and once did something terrible on my friend’s three-year-old in the middle of Starbucks. You can imagine. He couldn’t help it, it just happens if he’s excited over attention, food etc. It was so embarrassing. The vet did say he would improve after neutering but it never happened.
2. Ryan O’Meara, editor of K9 Magazine Jackson: ‘Sorry’ (Picture: Ryan O’Meara) My first dog Jackson was a legend. 1/ Humping a world renowned spinal surgeon, when he was on the phone about an accident needing his help (batting off using Yellow Pages has no impact). They both returned to the room after the call finished sweating. 2/ Stealing a plate full of curry. The smells identified the culprit. 3/ Giving a Pringle back to the gift giver when he decided he didn’t like it. 4/ Destroying new shoes left out, only spotted out of the corner of the eye when being thrown in the air.
4.Charlotte, Birmingham We were walking our family dog and he spotted a family having a picnic. Before we’d even realised what he was up to, he’d rampaged onto their blanket, stolen the sandwich from their toddler’s hand and was merrily devouring whatever was in their hamper by the time we even reached him! Michelle, Bexley Used to have a dog that would escape the garden to nearby field, roll in manure then return and hide behind sofa, thus smearing the manure along wall and back of sofa. A real treat.
5.Gill, Worcester Pepperami thief Bailey (Picture: Gill Drinkwater) My dog Bailey ran over to some lads playing football, peed on his rucksack then stole his Pepperami and ran off. When I first had him at one year old, I decided to take him to training classes but he terrorised the other dogs. They refused to accept him in the normal class and he had to go to the class for badly behaved dogs. Should have called him ASBO.
6.Bea, Midlands Christmas Eve, me and my husband were preparing for Christmas lunch the next day. His family were coming over. When should you stop wishing people ‘Happy New Year’? Made cauliflower cheese but didn’t have any room in the fridge so clingfilmed it and left it pushed to the back of the counter. Next morning, come down to find Max the lurcher had enjoyed a midnight snack and had eaten part of the cauliflower cheese. Not gonna lie, we mixed the rest of it up and cooked it. No one was ill so it was fine.
7.Fiona, senior content manager at Pets at Home Angie and Chesney (Picture: Angie Keay) When I was about eight weeks pregnant and before I told anyone I was in a meeting with a colleague, Angie, and her dog, Chesney. Although our pets often come to meetings with us, I’d never spent much time around Chesney, so I was quite surprised when he snuggled up to me. Angie was a bit embarrassed and kept trying to remove Chesney, but he would just cuddle up again. When the meeting was over, Angie told a mutual colleague that Chesney had a history of snuggling up to pregnant women. I announced my pregnancy a few weeks later, Angie said she was so glad she had told our colleague about Chesney’s super-sense because otherwise no one would have believed her. The hormonal changes must have made me smell different to Chesney. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends and family; it’s now my favourite work story!
8.Steve, Worcestershire Growing up, we had an extremely naughty Staffie called Roady. He would eat pretty much anything given to him but seemed to have a stomach of iron. His first trip to the vets as a pup was because he had eaten an 18 inch long rubber tube and needed to have emergency surgery. Another time, after a long day at work, my mum bought our dad a kebab for his tea. Famished as he was, dad had literally just put the fork to his mouth as the doorbell went. The plate went down, but Roady was (thankfully) on his bed. In the time it took my dad to answer the door and come back through the hall, Roady had complete obliterated the plate full of food. Dad said it was even funnier because of the way Roady’s legs were moving faster than ever but they just slipped on the carpet in cartoon fashion.
9.Rae, London (Picture: Rae Martin) We went on This Morning with our four Chihuahuas debating why we let them sleep in our bed. All was going really well until one threw up. Mortified!
10.Chris, Oxford Our old dog was too lazy to walk from the living room to the back door so he used to jump in and out the living room window. This was fine until he forgot where he was and jumped out of my sister’s second floor window. Luckily he managed to land on the roof and sat there shaking like a leaf until we were able to get a ladder and rescue him.
11.Kristi, Midlands My Labrador Holly was a bit of a hooligan when she was a pup. I was walking her once and she spotted a class doing a bootcamp style workout in the next field in the middle of doing press ups at the time. Holly thought it looked like great fun and charged over jumping on top of the people doing the press ups. Most of them laughed but the leader in the military style outfit didn’t look amused.
12.Ceren, North London (Picture: Hillary Kladke/Getty) Lola once stole a bottle of water from a group of people enjoying a lovely picnic spread in Victoria park in the summer. Barkley once stole a football from a group of young boys playing football in the local park. He punctured it with his teeth so my dad had to give them a tenner to get a new one. So yeah, my dogs steal stuff. And sometimes the owners are just as bad…
13.Lisa, Leamington Spa (Picture: andresr/Getty) I was taking my dog to his monthly veterinary appointment and left myself plenty of time for the journey (it’s a Friday night, rush hour etc). I arrived at my destination pleased there was very little traffic and we had plenty of time to spare – too much time in fact. 25 things that will make everyone who feels the cold say ‘same’ Anyway, because I’m early I figure I’ll take him inside in the hope they could possibly see him earlier than scheduled. We walk into the familiar, cosy, little waiting room thrilled to find it empty and blindly ignoring the confused looks and furrowed brows of the receptionists. Up I go with a cheery ‘Hello, I know we’re early but…’ to be greeted by a wall of silence. Still the penny didn’t drop. Not until the massive grinning face of my very own GP appears around the corner do I realise I haven’t taken Bucky the 15 miles to his vets but taken him the four miles to my own doctor’s surgery. I just about managed to stutter ‘Oh bollocks’ before being escorted back to my car by my GP who is practically on his knees laughing.
Hot Weather Dogs: Tips for Keeping Your Canine Cool
Whether fluffy or sleek, most dogs can be healthy and active in the heat, provided they get plenty of access to drinking water and shade.That said, certain dog breeds have a greater appreciation for hotter climates—and all our pals could benefit from a little extra TLC in the summertime.
Tips for keeping cool through the dog days of summer
If you see the mercury rising, here are some tips to keep your canine cool:
- Offer an ice pack or wet towel to lay on.
- Add ice cubes to the water dish.
- Offer access to a wading pool with shallow, cool water.
- Offer access to cool shade by stringing up a tarp, cloth, or use a shade screen.
- Bring a collapsible water dish on your walks.
- Replace a portion of their regular diet with canned food.
- Avoid walking on hot pavement, and consider booties to insulate their toes.
- Early morning or evening playtimes, exercise, and walks are best.
- Give your dog some homemade frozen treats.
The best hot weather dog breeds
In general, dogs with thin, short coats—think: beagles, Chihuahuas, and Dalmatians—do best in the heat. Dogs with short noses and thick coats are less comfortable as temperatures rise.
Dog breeds originating in hot climates were born ready to face the heat: basenjis and pharaoh hounds, to name a few. High-speed hounds used for coursing and racing, mostly from the sighthound group, are all naturally gifted when it comes to beating the heat. Their long noses cool the air, and their big lungs and hearts distribute oxygen through their bodies. Salukis, greyhounds, and whippets are all members of this speedy group.
Heatstroke in dogs: know the signs
- Raised temperature (101.5° is normal)
- Rapid breathing and panting
- Excess salivation and thickened saliva
- Fatigue or depression
- Muscle tremors
If you spot these signs, get your dog inside and contact your vet.
Wrap your dog in cold wet towels, especially the underarm/belly/groin area. A fan may be used on the dog during the cooling process. Check your dog’s temperature every five minutes and end the cooling treatment when the temperature is down to 103°. Avoid cooling too rapidly to avoid shock. Allow access to cool water, but don’t force your dog to drink. Your vet may push IV fluids if dehydration is a concern.
Dehydration in dogs: know the signs
Sunken eyes, Lethargy , Dry mouth, Depression , Gently pinch a fold of skin at the top of the neck. Is it slow to snap back? Not all signs of dehydration are easy to detect. If you suspect your dog may be dehydrated, a trip to the vet is recommended.
Offer clean cool water. Try different bowls, adding a splash of carrot juice, chicken broth, or pieces of a favorite fruit to one of the bowls to encourage drinking. Some dogs enjoy a few ice chips in their water dish.
To shave or not to shave… Is that your question?
If your furry friend has a double coat like mastiffs, spitz, or terrier types, you may be tempted to simply shave off all that fuzz in hopes of keeping them cool. Before you break out the razor, you should know there can be several drawbacks to this solution, including a sudden lack of insulation and decreased sun protection.
Additionally, because longer guard hairs have a different growth cycle than inner insulation hairs, it can take years for some dogs to regain their natural appearance.
Elderly dog helps save girl lost in Australian bush!
Australian police have praised a dog for remaining with a three-year-old girl as she spent a night lost in bushland. The girl, Aurora, had been the subject of a large search after she wandered away from her home in Queensland. She was followed by her family's 17-year-old cattle dog, Max, who is partially deaf and blind. The dog stayed with the girl for 16 hours before relatives found them on a hillside on Saturday morning. Aurora's grandmother, Leisa Marie Bennett, said she had heard the girl call out from the location, about 2km (1.2 miles) from home. "I shot up the mountain and when I came to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Relatives said Aurora had taken shelter with the dog under a rock as temperatures dipped to 15C (59F). She suffered only minor cuts.More than 100 emergency workers and volunteers had taken part in the search in Queensland's Southern Downs. Police praised Max's actions, and named him an honorary police dog. "At three years old, I would imagine that the young child would be very scared and frightened through the night and very cold," Insp Craig Berry said. "You can hope the dog was good company for the child and kept her warm. It's a positive outcome."
Madrid police dogs get 'Mozart effect' music therapy
Madrid's police dogs are to get air-conditioning and music therapy to improve their well-being. The Spanish capital's municipal police force has installed a specialised system providing music therapy for its service dogs. It is hoped that the innovation will reduce the levels of stress experienced by the dogs. The technique exposes the animals to classical music several times a day and is known as the "Mozart effect". The 22 dogs work as detectors in various roles in the municipal police force's Canine Unit.
Madrid's local council, which oversees the force, said that the dogs are exposed to high levels of stress in their roles. The facilities have been installed as part of a refurbishment to the living quarters where the dogs are based. Dogs in the unit are specialised in the detection of explosives and narcotics, as well as taking part in rescue missions.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour found that classical music can help reduce anxiety in dogs. Rafael de la Gándara, a police sergeant in charge of the unit, said the refurbishment of the dogs' quarters could help maintain their performance on the job. He said the dogs needed to relax but also to be stimulated, to keep them alert and responsive to commands when undertaking the jobs that they can be summoned for at a moment's notice.
"For example, when a dog is looking for drugs, it digs up the ground, which obviously wouldn't be a good idea if it was looking for explosives," Mr de la Gándara said. The refurbishment also included air-conditioning to ensure that the dogs are protected from overheating in the summer and from the cold in the winter.
Shop of the Month - March
Is it safe to walk dogs in the snow? Top tips if temperature is too cold and how to prevent salt grit in paws!
This week the UK has been blanketed by bursts of snow thanks to a storm dubbed the 'Beast from the East' - and now Storm Emma is joining in, too. Schools have closed, people have had to stay home from work and a red 'danger to life' weather warning has even been issued for parts of the country. Brits are being warned to stay indoors, but what about those of us with animals who need to be walked regularly?
It can be tempting to take your dog out for a run and play in the snow - but make sure you know the best advice before you head out into the freezing temperatures with your pooch. Hidden dangers await. It's not just the cold weather that's dangerous for pooches right now in the UK but, rather, the grit put down on roads and pavements to prevent people from slipping - or cars from crashing. For dogs, this salt grit can be particularly harmful because it contains chemicals which can produce burns on paws if they come into prolonged contact. Avoid walking on gritted surfaces where possible.
The other danger is ice balls forming between the pads and toes of the feet, or clinging around the surrounding fur - dogs with particularly hairy feet are more vulnerable.The general rule is if it feels too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your dog to stay out for an extended period of time. If you are venturing out, here are some top tips from the Dog's Trust :
How to keep your dog safe in the snow
Keep them on a lead: If it's snowing heavily, your dog can become disorientated and easily lost. Keep him/her on a lead so you know where they are at all times.
Don't let them walk on frozen ponds: the ice may not be thick enough to take their weight. If they do fall through the ice, don't be tempted to go in after them - you might make things worse. Instead, encourage your dog to swim to you and call the emergency services
Make sure you wipe your dogs legs, feet and stomach when you come indoors after a snowy walk as the grit from the roads can irritate their feet. Avoid walking on grit where possible.
Not only is this uncomfortable for the dog, but slush and ice on the roads can also contain harmful chemical de-icing products.
Always check for ice balls on your dog's paws and remove them while out walking if your dog suddenly seems uncomfortable or starts limping.
Keep your dog away from any Antifreeze. It is highly poisonous but tasty. Make sure you mop up any spills if you are using it
Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and an ID tag and is microchipped. It is important to ensure your microchipping database is up to date with your address and contact details.
"Keep your dogs away from ponds and lakes that are iced over. Thin ice may break under a dog's weight. Also watch out for your dogs' paws becoming impacted with snow, which can cause discomfort."
How to keep your cats safe in the snow
It's not just about dogs. Yes, you might want to go out for a walk with your dog but how is your cat coping with the cold weather. They can be equally vulnerable, but Cats' Protection have some top tips for keeping moggies healthy and happy in this awful weather.
When your cat comes in from the snow, wipe off any road grit and any other substances that may stick to his paws or fur
Keep the doors of sheds and outbuildings shut or wedged open, so that cats do not become trapped
Cats may also climb into vehicle engines for warmth whilst out roaming. Be vigilant, and check under the bonnet of your vehicle before starting your vehicle
Provide some shelter for cats that have access outside, such as a designated shelter, or cardboard box partially covered with plastic sheeting
Take special care of your cat if he has arthritis, as the cold can severely affect inflamed joints. Provide additional warm and comfortable places for your cat to rest or sleep. If your cat is finding it hard to reach his favourite resting places then look at ways of making it easier for him to reach his preferred places. Also ensure he can easily access his chosen toileting site
If your cat uses an outdoor water source to drink, make sure it doesn’t freeze. Always have clean, fresh water available inside in case the outdoor source is inaccessible
If your cat is seeing snow for the first time, then consider letting your cat wander in a safe and enclosed area such as a garden, and accompany them when they do
If you should let your cat wander further, let him outside when temperatures are highest and traffic levels are lowest. Also, check your cat flap regularly to ensure it hasn’t frozen over or become blocked by snow
Keep your cat in during the hours of darkness when there is a greater risk of cats being involved in road traffic accidents, theft and physical attacks
If you haven’t done so already, consider taking out pet insurance for your cat in view of the risk to your cat posed by the winter weather .