Paws for thought!

Round & About

dogs

Shops, restaurants and businesses taking part are encouraged to display a Dog Paw sticker in their window, so dog parents, and their furry friends know they are welcome.

So far more than 50 businesses have taken part, including independent and national companies such as Barclays Bank and Clarks.  Wallingford, well known for its excellent Independent shops, has seen the benefits and taken on the campaign with great enthusiasm.  With over 26% of us being dog parents, businesses can see the benefit from a higher footfall when dogs are welcomed, as people walking into town with their dogs can visit shops, and dine at their favourite restaurants.

Le Clos wine bar & French restaurant was one of the first to welcome the idea.  Other restaurants such as Shellfish Cow also see the value, and display the Dog Paw sticker with pride. Most pubs have signed up and many even have dog-friendly rooms.

The vast array of shops taking part include the lady’s clothes shop First Edition; lifestyle shops such as Raspberry Tart and also The Lamb Arcade – an Aladdin’s Cave of antiques. The shops you would also expect in a market town are also behind the campaign including shoe repair shops, newsagents, florists and hardware stores.

Joe Quilter, one of the founders of the scheme and a dog parent to Bramble, a Cockapoo said: “After a visit to North Norfolk and seeing written signs in shops inviting dogs into their premises, I thought it not be a great idea to have a standard Dog Paw Sticker for my town so local people and visitors know they are welcome with their dogs.

People don’t like to ask, as they don’t like to be refused entry, so this takes the issue away.

I’m also a big supporter of local business, and thought this is a win-win for both dog parents and our fantastic shops, restaurants and businesses.”

Joe also mentioned the security aspect and went on to say “One in 20 dogs taken are outside shops, and I just don’t want anyone living or visiting our town to ever suffer this experience.”

Since starting the campaign, other towns and villages have signed up to the campaign including Goring, Streatley, Didcot and Pangbourne, and the Dog Paw Sticker is in print again to the reach further afield than the founding town.

Where's dog friendly?

To find out the shops, restaurants and businesses taking part

Puppy love

Round & About

dogs

Top Dog Film Festival, coming to Abingdon this month, stars man’s best friend

Who doesn’t love a dog? Whether scruffy or pampered, they really are man’s best friend. So celebrate them in style this month!

Touring the UK for the first time, the Top Dog Film Festival features heart-warming stories of man’s best friend – via the big screen. Using stunning cinematography and heart-warming storytelling, the festival features tales from all around the world.

The collection of canine-inspired short films is touring the UK and comes to Abingdon’s Amey Theatre on Tuesday, 12th November. Tour director Neil Teasdale says: “Humans and dogs share a precious, heart-warming bond, and this new collection of films celebrates the canine companions that enrich our lives.

“Whether you’re a dog owner or just like dogs, these films are guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and fall in love with man’s best friend all over again.”
Highlights include the story of Arthur. A team competing in a gruelling adventure race in Ecuador unexpectedly had a surprise addition to their team.

The athletes encountered a then un-named stray dog, severely injured with a wound on its back – he joined them on their journey and found a home.

Another tale, The Dogist, features Elias Weiss Friedman, who lost his corporate job and took to the streets of New York with his camera and a squeaky tennis ball. Since then he has photographed 30,000 dogs all around the world, racking up 3.2 million followers on Instagram.

The event will also include a free prize giveaway, and a festive, dog-loving atmosphere is guaranteed!

?

For more information and tickets, visit

Creature comforts

Round & About

dogs

More than half of Brits own a pet and there are so many benefits to having an animal in the family! Here are some titbits to ensure that your pet is at his or her happiest…

1. Taking time to decide which pet you get is vital. Responsible pet ownership is a big commitment. Consider your budget, space and lifestyle when deciding on a pet, not whichever animal is cutest. Rescue centres (such as Dogs Trust Surrey) not only have a huge variety of pets needing “forever homes” but offer advice on helping your pet settle in and their happy life beyond. 

2. “Dogs are descended from wolves which are very social animals.” Bruce’s Doggy Day Care puts doggie wellbeing first, offering full-and half-day boarding, a puppy nursery, grooming and a Tiny Town for little dogs to mingle. www.brucesdoggydaycare.co.uk

3. Breeding animals on the basis of appearance can wreak havoc on their health. The charity PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is trying to combat irresponsible breeding, especially in light of recent “teacup” breeds, popularised on social media.   Visit www.peta.org  to find out more

4. Here some some fun facts  about pets for you! Did you know, for example, cats have no facility for tasting sugar? Henry III of France used to have a basket of small dogs hanging around his neck. The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court. Queen Victoria won six prizes at Crufts in 1891 for her Pomeranian dogs, whereas Winston Churchill, Raymond Chandler and Samuel Johnson were all cat lovers.

5. Rabbits make great pets but are not an easy option!A rabbit can live for eight years plus, up to four years longer if spayed or neutered,” says Sue Beckram of Pets Homes & Gardens in Cranleigh.“They need to socialise daily and can become listless and difficult to handle if neglected and need regular grooming.” 

6. All dogs need regular exercise. Without daily walks, dogs get depressed, fat, poorly or bored, as curious canines love to sniff about socially. How much exercise your dog needs depends on its breed, age, fitness level and personality. Contact Kaz’s K9s and Equines on 07881 915815.   

7. Should you insure your pet? The average pet insurance claim is £750, but claims can run into thousands if your pet develops an ongoing condition. If you’re unsure whether insurance is worthwhile, consider how you would deal with an unexpected bill. The easiest way to bag the best deal is to buy a lifetime policy when your pet is young. There might also be discounts for spaying/ neutering and microchipping your cat.

8. Birds can live to a ripe age. Larger species such as macaws and cockatoos can live for  35 up to 50 years. Tarbu, an African grey, lived to 55 and today’s oldest parrot is 82-year-old Cookie who lives at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

9. Raw and grain-free food can make a massive difference to your pet’s health and behaviour. Most experts agree grain-free and raw dog foods are the best choice as they are the closest equivalent to the natural diet their ancestors (wolves and wild cats) would have eaten.

10. Don’t think of fish as low-maintenance. A thriving aquarium needs consistent attention. Overfeeding is the biggest problem with fish because uneaten food pollutes your tank and inhibits filtration. All pets need dedicated care.

11. Take care of your pet’s teeth & gums! Just as with humans, a good oral care routine is a vital part of your pet’s health and wellbeing. The experienced team at Lynton Veterinary Group advise: “This can be aided by regular brushing, a good diet and, if necessary, scale & polish to prevent further issues. A neglected mouth can cause pets a lot of pain and discomfort and may lead to other serious health problems.” 

Follow this link to find out how to enter out pets competition!