All’s Well That Ends Well…

Just thought I’d share a feel good story with you folks to help keep the midweek blues at bay. A 53 year old man and his Golden Labrador Oscar survived a 200ft (61m) fall on Monday whilst walking near cliffs in North Yorkshire.

Apparently Oscar fell first and whilst looking to see what had happened to his faithful friend, the owner leant a bit too far over and ended up next to him on the ledge, which I imagine was not the rescue the owner had in mind. However, the Coastguard rescue team were on hand to save the day and airlift the pair to safety from what was officially declared “an awkward position”.

The man was taken to Scarborough General Hospital with some serious injuries including a broken wrist and leg, whilst Oscar was taken to a local vets with similar injuries; a broken leg, cracked tooth and a black eye. Given the distance the hapless duo plummeted Local Police have said its “absolutely remarkable” for both to have survived at all, let alone with only a few broken bones.

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Pet Psychology and Animal Intelligence

It’s often mentioned that animals are intelligent, although one thing that’s never been established is just how clever animals are.

Recently there’s been talk of a computer that will attempt to translate dolphin noises into language. Just think what could end up happening if this technology is successful – there could be applications for speaking to monkeys and apes, and domestic animals like cats and dogs. I’m pretty sure cats woudn’t want to talk to human much except to ask what time dinner is served. But dogs could be an interesting one, since dogs are naturally communcative and love company – they’re also highly intelligent animals. Could be that an old dog teached humanity a trick or two not long from now.

Pet psychology is of course relatively new – and some of the way pets behave would be mystifying but for animal studies. Take for instance studies into the behaviour of dogs in the wild and the hierarchical pack structure – general things about pack behaviour can have an effect on dogs in a domestic situation, such as the way dogs relate to the animals or people closest to them. There are many stories of dogs apparently misbehaving, who in fact were behaving appropriately according to what they believed their place in the hierarchy to be. Once this was corrected, so the stories go, the dog’s behaviour went back to normal.

Have you communicated with dolphins? Made a naughty dog good again? Or just believe that animals are cleverer than we think? If you have any stories to tell about animal intelligence and pet psychology, please let us know.

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Animal charity and pet insurance

The UK is known throughout the world for being a nation of animal lovers -and it’s even part of the law: the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 and the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 mean that a whole host of woodland creatures and other wild animals have an amount of legislative lookout that would be unheard of elsewhere.

And aptly for a nation that cares so much for animals, one of the most famous charities in the UK is the RSPCA – in fact it’s the oldest charity of its type – so it’s a uniquely experienced organisation that’s been helping animals for nearly two hundred years. Aiming to promote ‘compasssion for all creatures’, the RSPCA is involved in everything from rehoming pets to improving the welfare of wild animals.

When you think of the amount of animals that are out there – from domestic pets (cats, dogs, rabbits and so on) to UK wildlife like hedgehogs and foxes – then it’s not difficult to see just how big a job the RSPCA has. Ensuring animals all receive humane treatment is an ongoing commitment and the animal welfare professionals can be rightly proud of what’s been achieved so far.

One way of making a regular contribution to the work of the RSPCA is to take out a pet insurance policy. Pet insurance brings you peace of mind as a pet owner, and it also means that you can avoid hefty vet fees if your pet needs treatment. With an RSPCA policy, you also have the benefit of knowing that you’re helping animal welfare with 20% of the premium going towards the charity.

Animal insurance doesn’t just cover vets fees – it can also cover things like boarding costs so if it’s you that’s unwell rather than your pet, kennel fees are paid up to a certain amount. In times of recession an insurance premium might seem like another extra expense, but given the high cost of vet fees these days, it can be a real money saver in the long run.

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Spider pets?

Everyone has their favourite pet – I like goldfish the best, most people probably have a preference for cats or dogs, or maybe rabbits. Some people though have very unusual pets such as a lizard, a snake or even a tigeradoodle. One pet that I can’t imagine wanting to get myself would be a large spider. I mean, I like spiders and when I see one in the house I would never kill it – spiders are good luck as far as I’m concerned. But to keep one as a pet? Not cuddly or cute enough… I do think however that tarantulas are very cool arachnids indeed:

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It’s a Dog’s Life – So At Least Keep Him Covered with Dog Insurance

Most pet dogs have things pretty easy – sleeping as they please, food delivered daily, lots of walks (even in the rain), but should dog insurance be another one of those things us servile humans should provide for them?

Dog insurance was recommended by my vet. Now I am usually pretty sceptical of the things available for sale in the vet’s waiting room – sadly for my dog I usually ignore overpriced chew toys, customised leads and the massive bags of food apparently optimised for canine health – but when it came to dog insurance I listened.

dog insurance article

So what was it about that appointment that made me decide to buy dog insurance, practically on the spot? Well the price of the puppy checkups for starters…
But what actually convinced me was a rundown of the things could affect my dogs health without dog insurance. The vet highlighted a few things that a good dog insurance plan should cover and I decided I didn’t ever want to be in a position where my current financial state affected the life quality of my pet.

What dog insurance can cover:

  • Trivial Irritations – As well as covering accidents, some dog insurance can cover things like recurring colds or skin problems. The cost of an ongoing vet treatment for something trivial was something I certainly hadn’t considered, but I would never want my dog to be ill or uncomfortable.
  • Kennel Care – I was also told about how dog insurance can help cover kennel care if I should ever become ill and unable to find somebody to look after him – another cost I had never considered.
  • Harm to others – The final deciding factor that I would never have thought of myself when buying dog insurance was the fact that some plans cover third party injury. Dog insurance can cover costs incurred by any human injuries caused by your pet – which is a valuable thing to have when I consider how single minded he is when chasing after woodland animals.

I obviously try my very best to ensure my pet never accidently causes harm to himself or others, but dog insurance gives me the peace of mind to know that I will be able care both parties financially if anything should ever happen.

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Son of Tigeradoodle? Animal fun…

Well, here was me thinking that the recently reported Tigeradoodle phenomenon was something new. Judging by this YouTube clip though, it looks like the Tigeradoodle may be an even older breed than originally suspected!

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Pet care and grooming

You used to see a lot of dogs with extreme haircuts on television – especially poodles for some reason. Lately dogs have been a bit more sedate in the appearance their owners give them – so apart from the odd story about bling pets, dogs are pretty much left to look natural these days.

Well, that was until I read about the Tigeradoodle – I can’t believe I just saw a dog tiger!

… although sometimes a haircut is in order…

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Pets and the recession: my thoughts

I don’t know the provenance of the phrase about a dog being for life, not just for Christmas, but it’s still a bit of a classic. I never had a dog when I was a kid, so it made me angry that someone somewhere get a dog for Christmas and then go on to not appreciate it.

In times of recession there may well be people with not much money who’ve had to give their pet to a friend or relative to look after, but for the rest of us the tough times are meade much more bearable by having a pet around. It doesn’t actually matter whether your pet is a large mammal like a llama or just a goldfish in a bowl – pets help us feel good about the world – partly because they don’t care about human stuff like politics and economy and so on – they just want to do their thing.

Often you’ll read the paper and see a story saying how pet owners are less stressed or more healthy or whatever. Well, if you take it to a more basic level, all of us who are pet owners will attest that pets enhance life, they make life more fun, they bring a bit more joy into our days. And that’s got to be good for us!

In order to maintain this happy state of affairs though there are things that we need to do – a lot of it is common sense like making sure your companion animal has the best healthy diet and enough exercise. Then for unforeseen circumstances there’s pet health insurance – with vet fees being what they are this can make all the difference and ensure prompt treatment without breaking the bank.

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cool kitten!

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This takes the dog biscuit!

Very funny story in the Mail last week about Britain’s most pampered dog. Prince, a Chinese Crested dog from Loughborough, has an owner who spends £250 a month on him.  That’s more than most humans on the planet, in terms of food and clothes. His owner even cooks him ‘warm scrambled eggs’ for breakfast every morning.

While Prince, judging by the photographs, appears to enjoy being dressed up all the time, you can’t help wondering if he’d be happier living the life of an ordinary dog – you know, some dogfood out of a tin now and then, maybe run after some sticks in the park, do a bit of barking on the patio of a Saturday afternoon, that kind of thing?

One thing’s for sure – Prince’s life story couldn’t be further removed from Marvin and Bullet, which was the dog story of 2010.

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