16 Jan 2019 13:58

Pet passports and Brexit

If you are going to travel to the EU with your pet in 2019, please read this urgent message as actions may need to be taken as early as January 2019.

For travel to the EU after the 29th March 2019 with your pet, it is important that you contact your local surgery as soon as possible for an update of any potential new requirements. Further information can also be found on the government website about taking your pet abroad if there’s a no deal Brexit. Please remember that it is your responsibility to contact the vet to discuss appropriate action.

As always, we advise clients to think about what they may need to do well in advance of travel, and to allow at least four months before the date of travel to make sure they can meet any new requirements. This means if you are wanting to travel on the 30th March 2019, you will need to speak to your vet before.

Current requirements include making sure your pet is microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and has been treated for tapeworm. You can read more about these requirements on our pet passports page.

When visiting the practice for a pet passport, make sure to have a chat with your vet for further advice on protecting your pet abroad against ticks and other biting insects, as well as what preventative treatment is available before you go.

08 Jan 2019 16:10

What Dog Breeds Were The Most Popular In 2018?

As the UK’s largest and most popular pet classifieds website, Pets4Homes knows a thing or two about dogs, and what people are looking for when they search for a new canine companion.

Last March, we published a list of the ten most popular dog breeds in the UK for 2017, based on user adverts and searches, to show you the movers and shakers of the canine world and which breeds are on the up – and on their way down.We’ve collated information from across our website again this March, to produce a brand-new list of the most popular dog breeds for 2018, and show you how they compare to last year’s top pups.

Number 10: The Staffordshire bull terrier

The Staffordshire bull terrier has held onto their place in the top ten for another year, but they’ve actually fallen in popularity slightly, having lost their previous ninth place position. This is the second year running that the breed has slipped down the rankings – in 2016, the breed was the sixth most popular UK dog, so it remains to be seen if they’ll still make the list next year!

Number 9: The German shepherd

The German shepherd is a very consistent breed when it comes to the top ten favourite UK dogs, although again, they tend to fall towards the bottom end of the list.

German shepherds are large, very loyal dogs that form strong bonds with their families, and that are also well suited to a wide and versatile range of working roles.

Number 8: The Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is another breed that is slowly slipping down the rankings year on year – taking the eighth place spot for 2018 after losing two spaces to slip down from their previously held sixth place position. The Shih Tzu also dropped from fifth to sixth in 2016, so whilst the breed still falls firmly within the top ten, it would seem to be the case that their popularity is on the wane.

Number 7: The English bulldog

Britain’s unofficial mascot is one dog breed that has an enduring appeal for owners of all types, and the English bulldog is holding firm around the middle of the pack, seeing a slight uptick in popularity this year, when they moved from eight place into seventh.

Number 6: The Cocker spaniel

The UK’s most popular spaniel breed is the Cocker spaniel, and they’re also popular enough to have earned themselves a place in the top ten once again in 2018. However, they have dropped a popularity point this year, falling from fifth place to sixth.

Number 5: The Labrador Retriever

The popular, versatile Labrador retriever almost invariably pops up in the top five list of dog breeds ranked by popularity, but they’ve fallen down a place this year from fourth to fifth.

They are a medium to large breed that are very lively, loving and gentle, and can perhaps be counted as the most versatile dog breed of all, given their ability to work, partake in sport, assist people with disabilities and of course, serve as top class pets!

Number 4: The Cockapoo

First of all, it is important to mention the fact that the Cockapoo isn’t a pedigree dog breed, and they are actually a cross or hybrid of two other breeds – the Cocker spaniel and the poodle. Taking this into account, their fourth place in popularity is no mean feat, and the Cockapoo has even beaten out both of their two parent breeds in popularity this year!

This is one dog that looks to be posing a real challenge to the breeds in the top three positions in coming years!

Number 3: The Pug

The ever-popular pug has retained their enduring appeal for 2018, standing firm on their rather short little legs in third place in the rankings. This is the third year running that the pug has taken third place, so it looks like the Cockapoo still has some work to do to knock them from their spot!

The pug is a small, comical and very loving dog breed, but dogs of the breed that are bred for excessively exaggerated features can be prone to health problems.

Number 2: The Chihuahua

The little Chihuahua might be tiny, but they’ve clearly made a big impact here in the UK, with the breed retaining their second place ranking for the second year running. Back in 2016, the Chihuahua was actually the most popular breed of all – so whilst they’ve been knocked from the top spot, it is clear that this popular toy dog breed isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Number 1: The French bulldog

The French bulldog really pulled out all the stops to get to number one position – and retain their dominance for the second year running. The French bulldog first pipped the Chihuahua to the post in 2016, and they’ve stood firm in pole position ever since.

This is especially interesting when you take into account the fact that the breed as a whole was very uncommon within the UK as recently as a decade ago, but their comical characters and cute appearance soon captured the nation’s hearts.

However, like their English cousins, the French bulldog is prone to health problems if certain physical traits are overexaggerated by poorly thought out selective breeding.

Who will be the most popular pup of 2019??

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30 Nov 2018 13:15

Dogs at Christmas -beware

From your dog's perspective, Christmas is a time of the year when lots of unusual and exciting things are brought into your home, making it a very tempting time for them to get up to all sorts of mischief. Interesting foods, unusual plants and trees, attractive decorations and Christmas presents will all be of great interest to your dog, but some of these things may be harmful if eaten.

Foods ,

The list below may appear like a long list of things for your dog to avoid, but it is important to remember that they are not human, and that some human foods can be very dangerous to dogs. If you wish to give your dog a treat this Christmas, please ensure that it is something dog-friendly and avoid giving them the foods listed below.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs, as well as other animals such as cats, rodents and rabbits. Generally speaking, the darker and more expensive the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, and therefore the more poisonous it is. White chocolate contains very little theobromine and so is unlikely to cause chocolate poisoning, but is still very fatty and can still make your dog ill.Chocolate can initially cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but is a stimulant and so can lead to your dog becoming excitable, as well as developing muscle twitching, tremors, fitting and life threatening problems with their heart. Severe cases can be fatal.

Over the Christmas period make sure that all chocolate is out of the reach of your dog, this includes chocolate coins hung from your Christmas tree, advent calendars, boxes of chocolate put out on Christmas day and don't forget the wrapped chocolaty presents under your Christmas tree (just because its wrapped doesn't mean your dog can't smell it!). Although chocolate wrappers are not poisonous, they can cause an obstruction in the gut if eaten. This can be very dangerous and may require surgical intervention. Signs of an obstruction may include vomiting, lethargy, your dog being off their food, not defecating or finding it difficult to defecate.

Raisins, grapes, currants and sultanas

Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are all toxic to dogs and it is believed the dried forms of these fruits are more toxic than grapes. It is not known why these fruits are toxic to dogs, or how much is poisonous. Some dogs have eaten large quantities of this fruit and had no effects, while others have become unwell after very small amounts.

At this time of year, it is therefore important that all foods that contain these fruits be kept away from your dog; these include Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, fruit cake, mince pies, stolen and especially chocolate covered raisins.

As well as possibly causing vomiting and diarrhoea, these fruits can cause kidney failure, which can sometime be delayed for 24 to 72 hours. Kidney failure may sometimes present as a decrease in urination, your dog may also appear dull, or show signs of increased thirst.

Prompt treatment is important. If your dog does eat any amount contact your veterinarian immediately.

Macadamia nuts

Why these nuts are poisonous to dogs is not known, but macadamia nuts can cause your dog to appear weak (particularly in their hind limbs), dull, sleepy and they can sometimes appear wobbly on their feet, or they may appear in pain or stiff when walking. Vomiting, tremors, lethargy and an increased body temperature can also occur. These effects usually appear within 12 hours and may last up to two days.

Some macadamia nuts are covered in chocolate and so pose a double risk to dogs.

Blue cheese

Roquefort and other blue cheeses contain a substance called roquefortine C, which is a substance produced by the fungus used to produce these cheeses. Dogs appear sensitive to this substance and in more extreme cases can cause dogs to quickly develop muscle tremors and seizures, which may last for up to two days.


Dogs are believed to be more sensitive to ethanol than humans and so drinking even a small amount of alcohol can cause effects. Certain alcoholic drinks may be more appealing to dogs, such as cream or egg based drinks. Dogs may develop similar effects to those expected in humans, including becoming drowsy, wobbly on their feet and in more severe cases they can develop low body temperature, low blood sugar, seizures and coma.


When cooked, all bones become brittle and can easily splinter. Eating chicken, turkey or goose carcases may cause larger pieces of bone to cause an obstruction, while smaller pieces may irritate the gut, or even penetrate the stomach or intestinal wall, which may require surgery.

When preparing your Christmas day meal, ensure that any meat is kept on the kitchen surface, or out of reach of your dog. When throwing away a carcass, take it to the outside bin, therefore avoiding any temptation for your dog to raid your kitchen bin during the night.

Allium species

Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives all belong to the Allium family. These plants all contain a substance which can damage red blood cells in dogs and can cause life threatening anaemia. Signs may not present for a few days, but can include your dog vomiting, having diarrhoea or abdominal pain and they may appear sleepy, dull, weak, off their food and sometimes they may have rapid breathing. At Christmas ensure that your dog is kept away from sage and onion stuffing, onion based gravies or any other allium based foods.

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22 Oct 2018 11:59

Why chocolate Labradors have shorter lives than black or yellow ones

If you’re thinking about getting a Labrador, this study may influence which colour you go for. A new study has revealed that chocolate Labrador retrievers have a significantly shorter lifespan than their black and yellow counterparts.

Researchers from the Royal Veterinary College studied 33,320 Labrador Retrievers in the UK. The analysis revealed that the average lifespan for chocolate Labradors is just 10.7 years - 1.4 years shorter than black or yellow Labs. The team also found that chocolate Labradors are more susceptible to ear infections, with 23.4% affected, compared to just 17% of yellow labs, and 12.8% of black Labs.

Professor Paul McGreevy, co-author of the study, said: “The relationships between coat colour and disease may reflect an inadvertent consequence of breeding for certain pigmentations. “Because chocolate colour is recessive in dogs, the gene for this colour must be present in both parents for their puppies to be chocolate. “Breeders targeting this colour may therefore be more likely to breed between only Labradors carrying the chocolate coat gene. “It may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher proportion of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions.”

The researchers hope the findings will help breeders and vets to priorities approaches for tackling health concerns within the breed.

16 Oct 2018 10:23

Here’s to 60 years of Blue Peter dogs, you’re welcome !

Over the past 60 years, Blue Peter has become a beloved friends to us all, helping to inspire crafty delights fashioned out of toilet rolls and making all junior school children determined to get that coveted Blue Peter badge. But if there’s one thing many of us remember from the show, it’s the many adorable pet pooches the show welcomed. From Petra and Patch to Bonnie and Mabel to the many guide dogs who worked on the show as they trained for a lifetime of helping their visually impaired owners, the show’s rich history of furry friends has now been marked by BBC History for Blue Peter’s 60th birthday with a collection of over 20 newly unearthed pictures. Who can forget the epic moment that John Noakes was forced to just look on helplessly as Shep attacked robo-pup K-9 from Doctor Who? Or even that mass doggie ‘sit in’ for charity in 1983 at which anyone with a heart wishes they could have been involved? To see all the photos of these beautiful pups please visit https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/bbc-shares-never-before-seen-13421161
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24 Sep 2018 10:23

Here is some very useful information on how to clean your pets ears safely!

13 Aug 2018 12:14

Shop of the month - August!

Congratulations to Doghouse who won this months - Shop of the month!
Shop of the month august. Shop of the month august
01 Aug 2018 10:29

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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21 Jun 2018 13:07

New TUFFY & MIGHTY toys on the website


•1 layer soft fleece on the outside.

•1 layer of industrial grade luggage material on the inside.

•1 layer of plastic coating on the inside.


All of the toy layers are sewn together to make one super strong layer of material. Each toy is sewn together with 2 rows of cross stitching and 2 rows of linear stitching. Some toys have an additional piece of black trim which protects the edging and makes the toy even stronger.

Tuffy selection
06 Jun 2018 10:11

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.

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