Award-winning British start-up company PitPat enters the Dragons' Den on BBC2 at 9pm on Sunday as it seeks to gain investment in its activity monitor for dogs.
PitPat’s founder Andrew Nowell sought investment to grow the business in the UK and abroad, and to raise awareness of pet health. "With over half of dogs overweight in the country, pet obesity is an epidemic that needs to be tackled," says Andrew.
Designed in Cambridge and manufactured in the UK, PitPat gives owners a fun and engaging way to ensure that their dog gets the exercise it needs by keeping track of walking, running, playing and resting. PitPat attaches to any collar and with its sleek, compact and lightweight design it is the go-to gadget for dogs of any size or breed.
The device boasts best-in-breed technology with a year-long battery life and waterproof design, meaning it can stay attached and continue tracking all the time. Unlike other wearable technology products, there is no inconvenience or downtime for recharging.
Accompanying the PitPat device is a free iOS and Android app, which allows owners to keep an eye on their dog’s activity level and find out what they have done while they have been apart – with the dog walker, in kennels etc. The app compares the activity to a daily guideline based on the dog’s age, breed and weight and gives fun hints and tips towards responsible dog ownership.
PitPat re-tails at £39.99 and is available to purchase online at www.pitpatpet.com or at pet stores across the country.
PitPat founder Andrew Nowell locks horns with Peter Jones over his company's valuation. It was such good viewing that BBC2 have used the confrontation as a preview to this Sunday's Dragon's Den...
You'll see in the video that Peter keeps asking Andrew: "What have you got in terms of your IP (intellectual property) which is worth £2 million?
See how Andrew fares in this short preview of the programme, by clicking here.
How pet shop got listed in Top 100 small businesses
The Pet Shed, a small pet shop set up by animal lover Hannah James in Brighton, has been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 3. This week Hannah reveals the secrets of the store's success...
The Pet Shed, a small pet shop set up by animal lover Hannah James in Brighton, has been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 3.
This week Hannah reveals the secrets of the store's success.
The shop, which has been open for nearly three years, doesn’t actually stock pets but concentrates instead on offering the best and most natural pet food, treats, toys and accessories. It offers a number of ranges of dog treat biscuits, small dog collars and leads and a range of dog harnesses that are all supplied by small businesses.
What made you give up accountancy to run a pet shop?
I had always wanted to work for myself but never had that 'eureka' moment until my local pet shop came up for sale. I have always had pets and my 'collection' had grown over the years to include chickens, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, snakes ad turkeys. Owning my own pet shop sounded like the perfect way to combine my passion for animals with my desire to run my own business. All my friends and family were very supportive and encouraging so I knew it would be the right thing to do.
Is it true you tried to buy your local pet shop when it came up for sale?
I did, but when it came down to it I wasn't able to raise the money needed to purchase an existing business. This is where the idea to open one from scratch came. It gave me the opportunity to set the shop up the way I wanted to. To stock the right products that match my philosophy of healthy and natural food, toys and treats.
Did you always intend to stock natural and eco-friendly products?
Yes, I try and eat as naturally and ethically myself and it made so much sense for me to set the shop up the same way.
How did customers, and potential customers, react to this kind of approach?
Most were very accepting of it. My shop is a nice (middle class) area of Brighton and customers understand the benefits of feeding their pets a good quality nutritional diet.
Do you think pet owners are becoming more interested in feeding their animals with more natural products?
Absolutely. More and more customers question what is in their pets food. They read the labels and often do their research on line.
How do you feel to be listed as a Top 100 small business?
Excited, humbled and chuffed to bits!
Do you have pets now?
Opening the shop and working for myself has enabled me to get my own dog for the first time ever. She's called Bourbon.
Has the pet store peformed better than expected, especially in challenging times?
To be honest I had no idea if it would even work, but two and half years down the line I am still here!
Do employ any staff?
I have one girl who does one day a week for me. She has been with me since February last year, another girl that does a few hours and a delivery driver (I am hoping to expand the delivery service). I have also been lucky enough to have two Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteers for a few weeks and have a work experience lad starting in September.
How do you make sure your store can compete with the big pet superstores and grocery outlets?
By being different and focusing on customer service. Many people have the misconception that small independent businesses are more expensive (this isn't actually the case) so to counteract this I try to ensure that each customer leaves the shop happy and wanting to come back again. I get to know the customers and their pets and make sure I give them the best advise when they ask for it. I also stock a wide range of foods, treats and accessories that are not available in pet supermarkets and grocery outlets from local businesses and small independents like me.
Have you got plans for future expansion?
Not at the moment but my dream would be to open a bigger shop in the same area with room for a dog creche, puppy parties, dog friendly cafe, grooming and animal treatment rooms!
For more information about The Pet Shed visit www.thepetshedbrighton.co.uk
Millions of pets at risk of flea misery
Vet charity PDSA is warning that nearly 4 million dogs and cats are at risk of flea infestations this summer after shock findings show a huge increase in the number of animals left exposed to their harmful effects...
Vet charity PDSA is warning that nearly 4 million dogs and cats are at risk of flea infestations this summer after shock findings show a huge increase in the number of animals left exposed to their harmful effects.
The charity’s latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report showed a decline since 2014 of 900,000 cats and dogs receiving preventive medication to protect them from the blood-sucking parasites.
Meanwhile, milder winters and widespread central heating have provided the perfect conditions for the UK flea population to increase in recent years. But they’re not just an inconvenience, in very young pets a flea infestation can even be deadly.
“A flea infestation can cause intense suffering for a pet. Their skin will become itchy and inflamed, and some pets will scratch so much that their skin becomes sore and infected. For some, such as young kittens and puppies it can be incredibly serious,” said PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman.
“High infestations of fleas can cause a condition called flea anaemia. This is where the parasites have drained so much blood that they leave the animal desperately weak. In younger and smaller pets this can quickly become life threatening.”
PDSA is highlighting the issue after two kittens from a litter in Birmingham tragically died from flea anaemia.
Rebecca Thorne, Senior Vet at PDSA’s Aston Pet Hospital, explained that the litter was brought in with severe flea-bite anaemia last month.
She said: “Two kittens were brought into the hospital by their owner after a third had sadly passed away.
“The smaller kitten, called Rosie, had very pale gums, was collapsed and cold. The other kitten, Logan, was livelier but they were both covered in fleas.
“We gave both kittens intensive care. We fought as hard as we could but sadly we weren’t able to save Rosie. However, we were able to save Logan and thankfully he has gone on to make a full recovery.”
The kittens’ owner, Charlotte Bennett, said she had used over-the-counter products to treat her cats but they didn’t seem to be effective.
She said: “The treatment didn’t work and the kittens began to deteriorate. I’m devastated by what has happened and want to warn others about how dangerous fleas can be.”
In a separate case, PDSA vets in Bristol saved a kitten which had collapsed after developing flea anaemia. The kitten was nursed back to health while its littermates also received treatment to rid them of the parasites.
Vet Rebecca Ashman said it was important for owners to carry out a regular flea treatment regime as recommended by their vet.
She said: “It’s worrying that there’s been such an increase in the number of pets that have never received flea treatments. Even if your pets don’t go outside, flea eggs and larvae can still be brought into the home on clothing and shoes. Flea infestations can cause terrible suffering, so regular flea prevention really is an essential part of taking care of your pet.
“Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’re educating more pet owners about the importance of regular treatment and will be dispensing 200,000 flea treatments to pets this year.”
PDSA’s top tips for foiling fleas:
- Treat regularly – frequent treatments are needed to keep on top of any fleas that may be trying to set up home in your pet’s fur. Check the label or ask your vet if you’re not sure how often to do this as it’s important to use treatments correctly.
- Choose the right product – ask your vet which product would be best for your pet. Some products may not be as effective as others. If you have more than one pet, make sure the product is suitable for each pet and follow the instructions to the letter. Never use a dog-specific flea treatment on a cat, as these can contain a higher dosage that could cause fatal poisoning.
- Treat all your pets – fleas can jump straight from one species to another, so it’s important to treat all the pets in your house regularly at the same time.
- Treat the environment too – wash your pet’s bedding and any blankets they use at the highest temperature possible as often as you can, and vacuum areas where they frequently lie. Flea eggs and larvae can live in soft furnishings, and as some products only deal with adult fleas it’s important to break the cycle.
- Treat for other parasites – fleas can lead to other problems such as tapeworm, so a regular worming program is also important.
Did you know?
Eggs, larvae and pupae can also be carried into and around the house on the soles of our shoes.
- Fleas thrive in a warm environment, which is why flea cases increase during the summer months, and in the late autumn when the central heating is first switched on.
- Fleas can jump 20cm high, 4ft long and will jump around 10,000 times when looking for a dog or cat host.
- Fleas can feed for up to three hours from one site, and can eat up to 140% of their own body weight in blood.
Pictured: The litter of kittens that were treated at PDSA Bristol Pet Hospital.
DogBuddy launches Dog Friendly Pub Awards
Europe’s leading online dog sitting platform, DogBuddy.com, is launching the Dog-friendly Pub Awards, to find the UK’s best canine welcoming drinking establishments...
Europe’s leading online dog sitting platform, DogBuddy.com, is launching the Dog-friendly Pub Awards, to find the UK’s best canine welcoming drinking establishments.
Over three quarters of UK dog owners will opt to spend an evening with their dog than without, and over 2/3 (70%) of dog owners search for a dog-friendly pub before leaving the house.
The results from the survey of more than 2,500 dog owners across the UK also revealed that the nation is almost unanimous that our partners must get along with our dogs, with only 2% claiming that the relationship between spouse and spaniel isn’t important.
The nations favourite dog-owning celebrity saw Paul O’Grady topping the bill with just under a third of the votes and Kate Middleton gaining 5% of the vote.
Top 5 Dog-Loving Celebrities
1. Paul O’Grady (29%)
2. Tom Hardy (9%)
3.=Graham Norton (7%)
3.=Martin Clunes (7%)
4. Kate Middleton (5%)
It’s evident that the UK cherishes its four-legged friends and dog walks simply aren’t the same without a stop at the pub, which is why DogBuddy is announcing the launch of its Dog-friendly Pub Awards, to recognise the UK pubs that go that little bit further for our furry friends.
DogBuddy is encouraging pubs across the country to embrace ‘paw power’ and welcome four legs as well as two. Not only will these ‘pawsome’ awards show some well-deserved appreciation of existing dog-friendly establishments, but also aim to promote dog-friendly values across all pubs nationwide, inspiring dog owners in the UK to discover and visit their local pubs.
‘We’re delighted to be announcing the launch of our Dog-friendly Pub Awards, to celebrate the pubs that recognise that our dogs enjoy getting out to their local pub just as much as we do. We value dog welfare and care above all, and these awards will help us to further promote happy lifestyles for both pets and their owners.” says Richard Setterwall, CEO and Founder of DogBuddy.
Voting is open as of Friday 26th August, National Dog Day, and the closing date for the competition is 31st October. If your dog-friendly pub isn’t listed, nominations are open for pubs all over the UK at dogbuddypubs.com/add-a-pub
Underlying muscle pain can be a trigger for aggressiveness in dogs and must be considered in cases of dangerous behaviour, a canine expert has said.
Julia Robertson, the founder of the Galen Therapy Centre in Sussex which treats dogs suffering from musculoskeletal pain, has spoken out about the links between underlying conditions in canines and attacks in the light of the RSPCA’s report into the Dangerous Dogs Act.
In its paper the animal charity claims the act – introduced in the UK in 1991 – is failing both dogs and the public and is now calling on the Government to overhaul the legislation, and build a better understanding of why dogs bite.
Julia says underlying muscle pain in dogs, often suffered in silence, needs to be considered when looking at the legislation, as it could well be a trigger for out of character behaviour and aggression.
She said: “Dogs cannot communicate their pain to us clearly so if they are suffering from a chronic condition it will often present itself in different ways. A lack of tolerance, avoidance of touch or grooming and aggressive or defensive interactions with other people and dogs are all indicators your pet could be suffering from musculoskeletal pain.”
Julia, who has been working with dogs for 14 years, treats canines suffering from chronic pain and arthritis through myotherapy – a specialised ‘hands on’ manual muscle treatment. Her mission is to provide a solution for dogs that may otherwise be facing euthanasia.
She added: “Dogs could have been suffering muscle pain that could have contributed to an attack and sadly in many cases, these beloved pets are put down. Of course, underlying pain is not the cause of aggression in every case but is certainly a consideration.
“At the Galen Therapy Centre, we believe no dog should have to be put down unnecessarily if it is simply suffering from muscle pain, that may not be solved through traditional medical treatments.”
For more information about the RSPCA’s report visit www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/dogownership/bsl
The Galen Therapy Centre is based in Bolney, West Sussex and has been treating dogs since 2002. Canine myotherapy is derived from massage and is intended to treat compensatory issues from a pathology (condition), past trauma or repetitive strain.
Pictured: Julia treating a dog with myotherapy at the Galen Therapy Centre in West Sussex.
Ceva launches new fireworks marketing pack
Ceva Animal Health, manufacturer of ADAPTIL and FELIWAY, has launched a comprehensive new marketing pack to help educate and support customers with noise sensitive pets in the run up to the firework season...
Ceva Animal Health, manufacturer of ADAPTIL and FELIWAY, has launched a comprehensive new marketing pack to help educate and support customers with noise sensitive pets in the run up to the firework season.
The new pack includes an informative 60 minute video presented by leading veterinary behaviourist Jon Bowen BVetMed DipAS(CABC) MRCVS.
The short film covers hints and tips on the preventative measures that owners can put in place to help manage noise sensitivity and firework fears and also includes information on counter conditioning.
It also features a range of marketing material including leaflets, leaflet holders and posters.
“The fireworks season can be a scary time for pets,” comments Claire Russell, ADAPTIL and FELIWAY product manager at Ceva Animal Health.
“Our new marketing pack will help retailers remind their customers of the preventative measures they can put in place to reduce firework fears, including the use of ADAPTIL, proven to reduce the intensity of fear suffered as a result of loud noises.”
For further information please phone 01494 781510.
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A charity box was stolen and more than £1,000 of damage was caused during a burglary in Telford.
A large number of dog leads, dog harnesses and flea and tick treatments were taken from Just For Pets in Bridge Street, Wellington.
Thieves also stole a three foot tall yellow Guide Dog For The Blind charity box.
Police said it happened sometime between 10.30pm on August 8 and 5am on August 9.
In details released this week, they said two men gained entry by smashing the glass in the front door and more than £1,000 of damage was caused.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 and quote 0098S 090816. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org
The well-known South African accessory brand ROGZ, has announced the appointment of Imazo AB as its new distributor in Sweden and Norway.
Imazo (est. 1960), one the oldest and best established Scandinavian distributors, specialises in the sale of small animals, accessories and related food products.
With over 100 employees, 15 000m² of warehouse space, and more than 1 200 retailers on its database, Imazo was a perfect fit for ROGZ’ expansion plans in Scandinavia.
“We are very excited at the prospects that Imazo bring to a well-known brand like ROGZ” says Fritz Gerke, Key Accounts Manager with ROGZ Europe.
“I have known Tomas Andersson and the team at Imazo for many years and look forward to working more closely with them again in the future”.
ROGZ recently had their 8th very successful showing at Interzoo in Germany.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lintbells, maker of the popular joint supplement YUMOVE Horse Active Joint, has launched an innovative, natural patch to ease joint stiffness and support mobility in horses.
YUMOVE Horse Active Joint Patch will act locally and faster than the supplement to help restore mobility – providing a beneficial effect within around 30 minutes and acting for up to 72 hours after patch removal.
Anna Prest, Lintbells Brand Manager, explains that the patch is ideal for competition and leisure horses alike, “The patch is ideal for everyday use, for those strains and knocks but also as a quick solution to ease joint stiffness. In line with Lintbells ethos, it’s completely natural – so there are no concerns about using it around competition time – and it’s made to the very highest standards.”
The patch uses unique and carefully sourced ingredients. It delivers VitaEase™, Lintbells’ proprietary blend of the world’s highest concentration Omega-3 Green Lipped Mussel, directly to the area where it is needed. VitaEase™ Green Lipped Mussel contains four times the amount of beneficial Omega-3s compared to standard Green Lipped Mussel preparations.
It’s combined with a specific weight Hyaluronic Acid that delivers natural relief to the joint and Menthol to soothe and cool. A special enhancer enables absorption across the skin barrier to ensure the vital ingredients get to the area in contact with the patch quickly for on-the-spot relief.
Veterinary evaluation of the product has resulted in significant improvements being recorded within 24 hours of application, with sustained or improved effects after 48 hours. This makes it a great addition to the Lintbells equine range and a handy addition to any first aid or show-day kit. It’s simply applied using standard bandaging techniques.
Anna says it’s also how Lintbells treats the ingredients that makes the difference, “We take great care to ensure we use the freshest ingredients that are newly harvested, use cold vacuum extraction to preserve the delicate Omega oils and batch test constantly. I don’t know of any other supplements manufacturer that goes to the lengths that we do to ensure our supplements are absolutely top notch.”
The Omega based patch acts on the horse’s own biochemical pathways and so the patch can be used with confidence on high performance horses, without pulling out of competitions, as well as older or more vulnerable equines. YUMOVE Horse Active Joint supplement provides the same natural joint support longer term and the two products are complementary.
One happy horse owner explained how her horse benefited, “We used a patch when she first got back from the vets after he'd drained fluid out of the tendon sheath to help prevent fluid build-up. The amount of swelling and inflammation in her leg seemed to have really inhibited the healing process after her operation. After that, every time it seemed to get hot or a bit puffier we'd put a patch on for a couple of nights. The results, especially in the beginning, were astonishing. The leg would literally shrink overnight and be much cooler, if not cold.”
The patch is available now in saddlers, tack shops and Countrywide stores and trade orders can be made with the outlet’s usual wholesalers. For more information contact Lintbells on 01462 790886 or email email@example.com
For more information about Lintbells visit www.lintbells.com
London-based shampoo manufacturer, WildWash has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2016 E-Dressage Equine Awards, which will be held at the luxury Cheshire estate of Carden Park on Saturday 22nd October.
WildWash, which introduced their natural Horse Shampoos this year, was selected from amongst all the nominees to become one of the finalists for the Company Breakthrough of the Year category.
Speaking on behalf of the company, Company Director, Jane Cooper said: “This has been an unbelievable year for us. We worked so hard to make shampoos for the Equine world that would really make a difference.
"They were immediately picked up and distributed by Battles who have been very supportive and we are just about to introduce them into 56 of the Countrwide Farmers stores around the UK. The range also now sells all over the world, from Europe to Asia. To now be nominated for this award makes us really proud of what we have created.”
"There is nothing else like these awards in the industry," said Roseanna Sunley, Director and Founder of E-Dressage Ltd, which hosts the Equine Awards. "As we all know, success in any sector of the equine world does not come easy! We wanted to celebrate the hard work and dedication that all of these companies and individuals put in to build their achievements, and could think of no better way to do so than in creating these awards.
"The entrants certainly gave the Judging Panel a difficult job. They have risen to the challenge, though, and their final selections represent the very best in every sector of the Equine world. For WildWash to have been named as a finalist for 2016 is an achievement of which they should be very proud."
More information about WildWash can be found on their website – www.wildwash.co.uk – or by calling 020 7402 9672.
More information about the E-Dressage Equine Awards, including a full list of finalists, can be found at www.autumnball.e-dressage.com.
Pets at Home and Poundland are being lined up for a new mini-retail park in Bath.
The pet supplies chain wants to move into one of three units being created in part of the city's old Herman Miller factory.
Price discounter Poundland would take another of the stores, but would keep its shop in Westgate Street.
The third retailer is not yet known, but there would also be a separate Costa Coffee cafe on the site in Lower Bristol Road.
Council officials are about to sign off general planning approval for the stores, which would be next to the Lidl supermarket, and in total create nearly 50 jobs.
Earlier this month, Pets at Home, which has more than 400 stores, put in a specific application to fit out Unit 3 at what will be known as Metro Retail Park.
The firm - whose nearest stores are at Brislington, Chippenham and Trowbridge - says it will be employing 12 people in the 9,000 sq ft unit.
Documents submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council suggest that the Bath store would incorporate an in-house veterinary practice and one of Pets at Home's Groom Room salons.
A Pets at Home spokesman said: "We already have stores in Brislington and Trowbridge offering our unique range and customer service and have been looking to open a store in Bath for some time. We hope to bring the Pets at Home experience to the city in the near future."
The renowned natural and healing WildWash Pro Range is to be launched in India next month.
Company director Jane Cooper said: “We have worked very hard with our distributor Urban Pet House to ensure the brand is introduced to the ever expanding Indian market and can’t wait for customers in India to start using our products.
“As the climate is very hot, pets really need a gentle and natural approach to grooming and we suspect our Sensitive Shampoo will be a best seller for allergy prone skin and coats.
“The beautiful natural scents in our range won over our distributor and they plan to introduce the entire WildWash Line in India.”
There will be an official WildWash website set up for the Indian market www.wildwash.in
The RSPCA has urged pet owners to keep their animals cool in the summer heat as temperatures rocket to 30C in some parts of England and Wales this week.
The animal welfare charity is issuing advice after a surge in calls relating to animals and heat exposure last month.
The charity’s 24-hour emergency line received 1,606 calls in July - that’s two every hour or more than 50 a day - from concerned members of the public reporting dogs shut in hot vehicles, farm animals out in the heat, and horses without shade.
There have been more than 5,700 calls so far this year (January 1 - August 21) regarding animals exposed to the heat, more than 90% of which came from people concerned for dogs left in cars, vans, caravans and conservatories on warm days.