Dog News February Round Up

Great British Greyhound Walk Announces 2011 Dates

The second Great British Greyhound Walk will be taking place on Sunday 26th June 2011 when there will be walks organised the length and breadth of the country.  The idea is to have as many Greyhounds and Lurchers walking together at the same time on the same day, giving the hounds a good day out and giving the owners a chance to promote them and raise awareness to the public at the same time!

The first Great British Greyhound Walk was held on 20 June 2010 and the target was to have 1000 hounds walking.  That target was smashed!  In 44 different locations up and down the country 1641 dogs went walking!

Janet Peacock the 2010 coordinator said “in the months leading up to the walk day we gradually got more and more people interested in walking out together and on the day itself there was a huge ‘buzz’ at all the participating groups knowing they were a part of a great big greyhound walking party.  The day resulted in dogs finding homes and some groups who were new to organising walks have continued walking as a social group which is so beneficial for the hounds.”

The target for 2011 is 2011 dogs walking … Janet said “last year when we announced at our own walk in Chelmsford that the figure went above 1000 hounds there was a huge ‘whoop-whoop’ we want to hear that again this year, but even louder so we really want to encourage people to join in and help smash our target!!!

The Great British Greyhound Walk is coordinated by Greyhound Walks a small charity based in East Anglia, who have arranged social walks for greyhounds and lurchers since 2006.

If you’re interested in joining a walk or organising one visit the website www.greatbritishgreyhoundwalk.org.uk, or follow the GBGW on Facebook or Twitter.

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New 'Find The Missing Dog' Campaign Launched

A new campaign launched by pharmaceutical company Merial aims to raise awareness of canine osteoarthritis and living with the condition. Research has shown that one in five adult dogs in the UK suffers from osteoarthritis, yet very few are receiving treatment.

Merial Product Manager Claire Edmunds says: “There are plenty of treatment options available for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. Our ‘Find the Missing Dog’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the condition as well as the treatment that your veterinary surgeon can offer, and provides an easy way to track your dog’s progress.”

Osteoarthritis can be difficult to identify in dogs and many owners just assume stiffness is a normal part of ageing. You know your dog best, so look out for these signs:

• Not wanting to exercise

• Limping or walking stiffly

• Getting tired more easily

• Sleeping more than usual

• Yelping, whining and snapping

• Difficulty getting up and/or difficulty with stairs and getting in and out of the car

Help us find all the dogs who need our help. If your dog is diagnosed with osteoarthritis advancements in joint health treatment mean there is no reason for your dog to suffer from joint pain.

Treatment may mean a course of NSAIDs, a weight management plan or a change in exercise regime. A joint supplement such as Supleneo flex may also help. A combination of all the above is often the best course of treatment, so ask your veterinary surgeon for a joint health plan.

To see if your dog could be suffering from osteoarthritis, visit your veterinary surgery and ask about an osteoarthritis check today or find out more at www.osteoarthritisindogs.co.uk

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Survey Reveals Kids With Dogs Are More Active

It's a topic often debated – if you own a dog, are you healthier? Do you get more fresh air and exercise? Are you more active? A new survey undertaken at the University of Minnesota set about finding out. Researchers had 618 kids ranging between the ages of 12-16 years old wear accelerometers for a week to measure their physical activity. Half the families of the kids had dogs and half did not.

The study showed the kids in families with dogs got 32.1 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day, while those without dogs got 29.5 minutes. The difference isn't much, but lead author John R. Sirard of the report said it's big enough to suggest more study be done.

Parents of the teens also wore the lightweight devices, but the difference in activity levels between adults in the two groups was nonexistent, Sirard said, suggesting the kids might have been the ones taking the dogs out. The families were not asked who cared for the dogs.

The study which was undertaken at the University of Minnesota, was one of the first to examine the relationship between adolescents and dogs. Sirard, a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said the research didn't take into account the size or breed of the dog, the safety of the neighborhoods where the families lived or the level of attachment the kids had to the pets.

It's also possible that more active families were the ones that decided to get dogs in the first place, he said.

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Results appear in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"I do think dogs could make a difference," said Dr. Antronette Yancey, a health services professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. "As a dog owner myself, I can say that dogs are extremely consistent prompts to get you out and walking."

Yancey, who wrote the book Instant Recess: How to Build a Fit Nation for the 21st Century, agreed more research was needed. "Sometimes these little clues that you get from a small study can actually burgeon into something that's very meaningful," she said.

We already know a few things about the impact of pets on health, Yancey said. "We know pets are good for older people and good for lowering blood pressure and a variety of other reasons, so if they are also good for physical activity, great."

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Pets Responsible For Up To £3.3 Billion In Damage To Pet Owners Homes

Britons are internationally renowned animal lovers, however, mixing a four-legged friend with the family sofa can be a costly recipe for disaster as Confused.com discovered.

The home insurance expert is calling for home insurance providers to provide greater clarity around cover for damage caused by pets. The call comes in response to a new home insurance study which revealed pets were responsible for over £3.3 billion of damage to UK households during the past year.

The survey discovered that up to one fifth of pet owners have experienced significant damage to their homes over the past 12 months, costing them an average of £690.

Pet owners have been forced to fund their pet’s destructive habits, with up to 86% of respondents indicating that they were not covered for, or did not know if they were covered for, this type of damage.

Home insurance expert Confused.com has since discovered that none of the major insurance providers cover accidental damage caused by pets.

To combat ‘pet-ty’ crime and help protect innocent pet owners, Confused.com is petitioning home insurance providers to encourage them to include pet damage within their current policy offering, in addition to providing updated and clearer policy information to existing customers who may already be covered.

Pet Owners can sign the Confused.com petition in support of home insurance that covers pet damage at http://www.confused.com/home-insurance/pet-petition

Mark Gabriel, Head of Home Insurance at Confused.com, says now is the time for insurance providers to step up and share responsibility with pet owners to ensure that their household is equipped to house a furry friend.

“The findings of this study send a clear message to insurance providers that there is a real need for tailored home insurance products for pet owners. The Confused.com petition provides pet owners with an opportunity to tell their insurers what they really want from their home insurance.”

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Your Dog’s REAL Age Isn’t What You Think It Is

If you’d like to find out how old your dog really is in human years (and why it’s important): Click here to learn more »