Pets Magazine April 2016

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  • Vet Pets Magazine

    April, 2016



    Why Pets Are Good For Us!



    We Visit California: The Home of Pet Tech

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh thirty years ago in 1985. He has worked in his own four-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991, and he has his own menagerie of dogs, cats, ducks, hens and others including a pet rabbit in his kitchen. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian in Ireland and the UK, with a weekly breakfast television slot on national television for the past fourteen years. He is a prolific writer on animal topics, with weekly columns in the Ireland's Herald newspaper and the UK's Daily Telegraph. Pete is known as "Pete the Vet" on his busy Facebook and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also writes a regular blog at

    Research shows that children who live in households with pets tend to be more self-

    confident and socially adept than those without animals.

    Pets are experts in body-language, which is often universal across species barriers. Perhaps animals are able to teach children this by being in close contact with them as they are growing up?

    Recent research has also suggested that the presence of animals in the home can act as a protective against the later development of asthma in the child - as long as the mother of the child does not have asthma, in which case animals can make things worse.

    Children with psychological

    PETE THE VETThis Month: Why pets are good for you!

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    difficulties may gain special benefits from pets. Professional pet therapy started nearly fifty years ago when a psychiatrist noted that severely withdrawn children became more responsive when he was accompanied by his own dog in counselling sessions, and this is now a well established routine.

    Children learning to read can also benefit by reading allowed to pets: they seem to be able to do this without feeling the same self-consciousness that they may have with fellow humans listening.

    A case in point: Emma has owned a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel since she was a baby: she is now a confident, healthy,

    ten year old child, and her friendship with her dog is a model of good companionship.

    Pets are good for adults too!Animals bring both physical and psychological benefits to all of us. Most obviously, dogs encourage people to exercise. If you own a dog, a regular walk half an hour twice daily is a necessary part of your routine together. There is something different about walking with a dog many folk would not take a walk around a local park, on the beach or along the street if

    they did not have a dog beside them.

    Dogs also act as supreme social catalysts, making it easier for us to connect with other people. It's far easier to talk to someone who has a dog beside them: the

    animal makes them seem more approachable, and you can talk about the dog as a neutral subject (Hes a lovely looking creature. What breed is he?)

    Taking it to another level, pets bring benefits to the treatment of psychiatric illness, including depression. The presence of an appropriate animal can help to build self-esteem and increase mental alertness, and they also lift the spirits of people with Alzheimer's disease.

    In several prison projects, inmates who have been given birds and small animals to take care of have become less violent, more sociable and more responsible.

    Pets are good for both children and adults

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    Pet ownership has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have revealed that petting a dog or a cat, or sometimes just being in the same room as a friendly animal, can reduce people's blood pressure and heart rate. And perhaps linking to this, after major heart surgery, one study showed that patients who had pets with animals lived for longer than those who did not keep pets.

    A case in point: The Connolly family have owned a succession of Boxers, since before their children were born. The children are now in their twenties, and they can't imagine the Connolly home without a resident Boxer or two. Every family photo includes the dogs, and they're seen as an integral, key part of the Connolly family.

    Pets are good for older people!Any vet can tell you stories about older people who have their lives enriched by the company of their pets. Studies have shown that pets can help older people to be more self-reliant. One study measured

    how many hours of paid care worker time was needed for elderly people living alone. At the start, an average of 40 hours a week of human help was required per patient. Six months after each patient had been given a pet, the amount of carer time had reduced to about 10 hours per week.

    For older people who are unable to live on their own, there are other benefits. When pets are allowed to visit nursing homes, theres a strong positive effect, with elderly residents smiling and talking more, and experiencing more symptoms of well-being.

    A case in point: Chance is a Golden Cocker Spaniel who was the sole pet of Betty until she was ninety, when she was no longer able to live in her own home due to a disability. When Betty moved into a care home, she was allowed to bring Chance with her. Her long term companion has now become the friend of many other older people in their new home


    Whatever your stage of life, pets can bring brightness, cheerfulness and friendship into your immediate environment. If youve never thought about having a pet, why not think about one now? Its never too late!

    Pets can provide company for the elderly

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    Dont forget that Tuesday July 5 is national Pet Remembrance Day!

    Set up by Pets Magazine and 3D printing specialists Arty Lobster , Pet Remembrance Day will remember beloved companion animals that have died.

    This year, Pet Remembrance Day is proud to support The Oldies Club, a national charity, which rehomes dogs aged seven and over that are in need of homes.

    Pet lovers will also be able to nominate pets on social media using the hashtag #PetRemembranceDay to be immortalised in 3D by Arty Lobster. One will be chosen to

    have their likeness fashioned into a three-dimensional sculpture.

    A Twitter chat will take place on Tuesday July 5 using the hashtag #PetRemembranceDay for people to show their support and share thoughts and photos of deceased companion animals.

    Lars Andersen, Managing Director of Arty Lobster, said: As a country, we still do not really know how to remember our pets and to deal with their loss. Pet Remembrance Day provides a space for people to remember departed pets and to celebrate their lives.

    A growing part of our customer base is served by people looking

    for that lasting memento mori of their pet.

    People want ways of remembering their pet and its quirks and character traits and the importance it played in their lives and the life of the family.

    Olive Armstrong, at The Oldies Club, said: "We're delighted that we've been chosen to be the nominated charity for Pet Remembrance Day this year.

    Our pets are members of our families too, and to dedicate a special day to remember them is a great idea.

    More info very soon!


    National Pet Remembrance Day

    #PetRemembranceDay Tuesday July 5

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    EMMA MILNE is best known for her appearances in the highly successful BBC 1 programme, Vets in Practice and appeared in all eleven series. She has since appeared in

    numerous TV and radio programmes and has co-presented programmes on wildlife and been a regular guest reporter for BBCs Inside Out programme. Emma qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1996 and went on to work in a mixed, country practice in Somerset, before moving to Cheltenham for seven years and then on to York. She has been involved with many animal welfare organisations and campaigns including tail docking, pedigree dog health and hunting with dogs.

    A keen writer, Emma has been a feature columnist for many leading publications. Emmas first book, The Truth About Cats and Dogs was published in July 2007 and highlighted the increasing health problems with pedigree dogs and cats. In March 2012 her second book, Tales from the Tail End was published. Her series of childrens pet care books, The Pet Detective Series, based on the five

    welfare needs and the importance of mental as well as physical wellbeing has recently been published. Emma now lives in France and, besides continuing her writing, media work and welfare campaigns, is one of the technical

    advisors for Hills prescription diets. We meet Emma and her cute and mischievous cat Stella.


    Stella is a good old-fashioned moggie. As with many vets pet acquisitions she just sort of came along! Some neighbours told us about a cat living in their garden that had had a litter. Stella was the last kitten left and needed a home and we didnt have any pets. Fate put us all together. The children picked her name because our friends cat is called Stella.

    MY Pet

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    We adopted Stella in October last year. She was about 8 weeks old, tiny and full of parasites. Shes cross-eyed and had some ingrowing eyelashes.

    We werent sure if she was going to make it but after some good flea and worm control, some plucking and some good nutrition she was soon zooming round the house and proving that being cross-eyed wasnt affecting her co-ordination!


    Obviously most cats dont go to work with their owners but Stella and I are lucky. I work from home as I write books on various aspects of being a vet and the rest of the time Im an advisor for medical diets for cats and dogs. I spend those days on the phone to vets and nurses. Stella likes to spend her days in my office on a beanbag until the kids come home from school. They are obviously much more interesting than me!


    We had three cats and two dogs for 15 years and after they had all died we had a very sad and empty house. I love to have animals around and I also think its brilliant for kids to grow up in the company of animals.

    We cant have dogs at the moment because of various things, so finding Stella made a big difference. The children and her adore each other and its lovely to see.

    Emma used to have both cats and dogs, including Pan and Badger

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    My beloved dogs Pan and Badger used to go everywhere with us. We went camping in France and Spain and the boys have swum in both the Med and the Atlantic on their travels. Theyve been to the Alps where my sister used to live and even came bowling once! They were the best dogs in the world and my best friends.

    We did a five-week odyssey from Yorkshire to the southern-most tip of Spain to a town called Tarifa. We had a VW camper van and had a week in France, three weeks in Spain and then another week in France. A 4,000-mile round trip and an adventure for all of us. The dogs were brilliant travelers and always hopped out of the van with a wagging tail to see where we were next.

    One of the things I love about France is that dogs are welcome in virtually all the bars and restaurants. I wish England wasnt quite so uptight when it comes to our best friends!


    Stellas favourite things are her toy mouse, the children and watching the birds, not necessarily in that order!

    She loves being with the children and always sleeps in their room until we go to bed when she is banned from the bedrooms. Not because Im mean but because Im a really light sleeper, so all our animals have always known they are not allowed in the bedrooms at night.


    She loves having a mad half hour and tearing round the house. Her special trick is waiting for you to go by and then standing right on her hind

    legs with her front madly splayed ready to pounce and leaping at your legs as you walk past. Her most endearing feature is her squint!


    My whole career has been devoted to various welfare causes but the things I feel most strongly about are pedigree dog and cat health and the importance of mental wellbeing as well

    as physical wellbeing for pets.

    Too many people misunderstand the behavioural or companionship needs of their pets and end up choosing the wrong animal or neglecting it simply through not having done their research. My new series of books for 7-12 year-olds is aimed at harnessing the great natural empathy of kids and trying to improve pet welfare and choices before the animal is bought. The series is called the Pet Detective Series.


  • Vet Pets Magazine WWW.ARTYLOBSTER.COM

    3D Pet Sculptures

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    By MARIE CARTER, Editor of Pets Magazine

    The market for technology for our pets, or pet tech, including wearables such as activity trackers, is one of the last hi-tech frontiers set to be conquered. The charge is coming not from the UK, but from California. Over the last fortnight, in my role as Editor of Pets Magazine , and as part of a holiday to The Golden State, I was delighted to visit San Francisco including Silicon Valley, which is a truly unique and exciting area.

    San Francisco, and nearby Palo Alto and Cupertino, are the

    breeding grounds of many hi-tech giants. Palo Alto, home to the renowned Stanford University, is headquarters to a number of tech firms, including Hewlett-Packard (HP), Tesla Motors, Ford Research and Innovation Center, PARC, Ning, IDEO, Skype, and Palantir Technologies. It has also served as an incubator to several other hi-tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Logitech, Intuit, Pinterest, and PayPal.

    Palo Alto is one of the most expensive cities in the US in which to live and its residents are among the most educated in the country. The Apple

    campus, with its shiny and secretive faade and bright and welcoming store, which is the only place where Apple pens and other merchandise can be bought, is located in Cupertino. San Francisco itself is home to many other hi-tech firms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Spotify and the Uber-like Lyft app.

    Its a thrill to simply find these hi-tech firms actually have real, bricks and mortar presences - I knew that really, but using their apps on a daily basis you come to believe in the existence of an amorphous tech cloud consisting of apps that have no real presence but are

    My Trip To The

    Land Of Pet Tech...

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    nevertheless omniscient and omnipresent.

    The market for pet tech is huge. Total spending on pets in the UK reached a record high of $7.16bn in 2015; a 3 per cent increase on $6.92bn in 2014 and a growth of 25pc since 2010, according to Euromonitor. In the UK, 8.5m people own dogs and 7.4m own cats while 45 million U.S. households own dogs, and 30 million households own cats. Increased humanisation of our pets, particularly among single Millennials and older couples without dependent children, has seen a huge increase in demand for pet care, pet accessories and pet tech.

    With my partner, I was delighted to visit Whistle, a brilliant company that started only four years ago with a team of three and has now grown to 65 people. It makes pet activity and sleep trackers, some of which have GPS functionality, that are similar to the human versions in that they use an app

    to develop a profile of your pet with daily activity goals you can set.

    Its an excellent app and my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Sophie now has an active profile after exceeding her 45-minute daily exercise regime for four days in a row!

    Cleverly, the app distinguishes between different forms of

    activity such as running, walking and playing and does not include activities like

    walking around the house or a stroll of under a few minutes duration.

    We met Whistles dynamic and engaging CEO and Co-Founder Ben Jacobs who started his firm due to a need for a product that he could use with his own dog. He is very innovation and data driven but also very in tune with the needs of pet owners. Ben is concerned that over half of all domestic cats and dogs are still obese and firmly believes that pet activity trackers can help with weight loss goals. They can also help to alert owners to potential life-threatening problems

    in their pets. One case concerned Ripley the dog who was lethargic, not wanting to do his usual exercise and not eating properly. A hunch by Ripleys owner combined with data from his pet tracker prompted a visit to the vet, who discovered that Ripley was suffering from kidney disease.

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    Petzi is another innovative company that has created the ultimate toy and monitoring device for your dog. Their treat

    cam also links to an app from which you can talk to your pet,

    see him, take photos of him to share with other Petzi user and on social media, and, most importantly, dispense treats to him while youre away from home. But be careful, this device can become dangerously addictive, as has been proven with Sophie, Pets Magazines chief taste tester! A Whistle and a Petzi combined could

    therefore be the perfect combination!

    On a final note, if youre a dog

    lover, Carmel in Monterey County is a place you should

    definitely visit.

    Not only is Carmel home to screen legend Doris Day, who now runs an animal sanctuary, but it is

    renowned as the most dog-friendly place in the US. Many of its high-end restaurants, boutiques and cafes welcome canine visitors with open arms. We were very pleasantly surprised to find treats for mans best friend on the counters of the chicest eateries. Most hotels allow dogs to stay with guests. Almost all restaurants that offer outside

    dining allow dogs in those areas, with most of them also offering water while a few also have special doggie menus.

    Dogs must be leashed, except on Carmel City Beach, where they are allowed off lead if they are well behaved. The police department takes animal welfare very seriously and officers will open cars that contain pets without adequate ventilation or water and will remove the pets and cite the owner. No visit to Carmel would be complete without a visit to the wonderful Diggidy

    Dog pet boutique, which is an emporium of pet accessories, treats and everything you could

    possibly want for the pampered pooch or feline in your life.

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    Capturing the heart & soul of

    the pet

    Self-taught pet artist DAVID GOSNELL from Essex has developed a unique style that both encapsulates his love of animals and captures his subjects personality traits and quirks.

  • Vet Pets Magazine

    Self-taught pet artist DAVID GOSNELL, 29, from Essex has developed a unique style that both encapsulates his love of animals and captures his subjects personality traits and quirks.

    Here we meet some of his subjects including Pets Magazines very own columnist Sophie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Dave, who also has a full-time job in the pharmaceutical industry, talks about his love of art and photography.


    At a young age, I always enjoyed drawing and painting; whether it be a quick doodle in a sketch pad to intricate painting of model aeroplanes.

    However, during senior school (1998 - 2003) Art and Graphics was not one of the subjects I decided to study for my GCSEs.

    In 2013, my son George was born; from this I began to create a baby scrapbook. On one of my scrapbook pages, I had a 'George meeting Bella' (our pet dog) page - with a sketch of our Jackapoo. I guess drawing Bella is where my inspiration for drawing pets began, realising that I could actually capture her on paper. After a busy year with George, I decided that in 2014 I would continue by drawing a pencil portrait of my parents Springer Spaniels,

    which sadly passed away. Once completed, I posted the picture

    on Facebook and received some very positive feedback.

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    The most challenging but fun part of the process is trying to capture the perfect picture, especially when you have an over excited dog constantly jumping up at you. However, meeting the pet your about to sketch is very rewarding.


    The lighting of the photo is very important, so being outside in the sunshine is perfect. Not only does it make it easier to see the finer details within the photo but the cat or dog do

    seem a lot happier in a more open environment.


    The most important piece of advice I can give for drawing cats and dogs is to not rush into getting some lead on the paper. Take a while to study the reference material and then focus on the light direction and shadows.

    The general outline of the figure is vital, if the overall shape is wrong, the drawing will look out of proportion and the likeness will be lost. The eyes are the first thing we focus

    on, so emphasis on the reflections and highlights.

    Lastly, the nose is the closest feature to us, so this should have the most detail. I begin every drawing with the initial outline, then the nose, making my way outwards to the edges.

    Equipment wise: Make sure you use high quality paper and use the full range of pencil grades, dont just stick to using the same pencil for the entire sketch it really makes a difference!


    As much as I enjoy taking, editing and reminiscing over photos; my real passion is for realistic drawing. I would love to be an artist full time; however, as I am only an amateur artist, I still have so much to learn and being somewhat of a perfectionist, each drawing becomes very time consuming.


    If I had more spare time to be able to have a pet, I would love to have either a Springer Spaniel or a Siberian Husky.

    Dave has captured Pets Magazines Sophie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel perfectly

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    Since 2014, every drawing I have been asked to do has been for peoples dogs and cats. However, recently I have been asked to draw my friends rabbit and potentially a horse. I would love to be given the chance to draw some kind of bird or reptile, something out of my comfort zone and perhaps experiment with colour pencils.


    I find that animals all have their own individuality, which is why I enjoy trying to capture their characters in my work. Every request I receive is a challenge; having to differ from types of breed, fur, clothing etc.

    Growing up with no brothers or sisters, I always had numerous different

    types of pets, so I have always had a fascination with animals.

    I dont really have a great deal of experience when it comes to drawing people. However, at some point this year, I have promised my friends and family that I will attempt a portrait of their sons and



    I created my own Facebook page last year to not only have a safe place to store my artwork, but also to showcase my self-taught portraits for constructive criticism. I have found that by using social media, people can not only see my artwork, but they can also message me for any potential requests or advice.

    For more information, please visit:

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    Horseboxes Riskier Than Grand National

    Almost one in five (19%) of injuries sustained by horses in horseboxes or trailers are fatal

    One in twenty (5%) fallen or collapsed horses in The Grand National will be put to sleep

    Over the last ten years, one out of forty horses to enter The Grand National will lose its life and five percent of those that fall or collapse will need to be put to sleep as a result.

    NFU Mutual is advising that there is potentially a bigger risk to the horses safety before they even arrive at the track the unidentified dangers that some horseboxes and trailers pose.

    The insurers claims data reveals that almost one in five (19%) injuries sustained by horses in horseboxes and trailers result in the horse being put to sleep. This can be from legs falling through rotten floors or becoming tramped in overturned trailers following a tyre blow-out or other component failure.

    Victoria Walton, Equine Specialist at NFU Mutual: We are calling for the equestrian community to pay as much care and attention to the safety and maintenance of their horseboxes and trailers as we know they do towards the health and wellbeing of their animals. is on owners to prevent a disaster waiting to happen.

    Working with partners across the equine industry NFU Mutual has created a library of videos at to highlight the issues and educate horse owners how to avoid them, promoted via the Social Media campaign I pledge to keep my horse safe #HBSW.


    56th Annual GUVMA Vet Rodeo 2016

    Every year, the Glasgow University Veterinary Medical Association (GUVMA) organises the Annual GUVMA Rodeo, an animal charity fundraising event.

    This year,Students for Animals In Need, Trusty Paws,Guide Dogs for the Blind AssociationandHorse Rescue Scotland, will be the main beneficiaries of the event.

    The proceeds from the raffle will also go to the Riding for the Disabled Glasgow.

    There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained for the whole day: bouncy castles, laser quest, animal interactions and many more! There are also animal-related showcases ranging from guide dog demonstrations to falconry lined up for you. This event is also your chance to cuddle up with dogs, have a go at handling reptiles and small furries and meet alpacas, horses, birds of prey and other animals up close!

    If you need a break from all the animals, the main marquee will have plenty of stalls selling hand-made crafts and maybe even home-made fudge. You can also head on down to the tea tent for some snacks and admire the colourful artworks created by the creative students from Hillhead Primary School for our colouring contest. If you are still hungry, there are street food trucks around so dont worry.

    So bring your family, your friends and even your furkids down for a day of fun!

    The rodeo is on the 16th of April 2016, Saturday from 11am to 5pm at the Garscube Estate.Find out more about the rodeo by following us on Facebook - 56th Annual Rodeo 2016.

  • Vet Pets Magazine