Pet industry pays tribute to one of its leading figures
PPRA's Diana Truman passes away following a battle with cancer
The pet industry has paid tribute to Diana Truman, executive secretary of the Pet Product Retail Association, who has died after a battle with cancer. Her funeral took place at Streetly Crematorium in Walsall on Monday...
The pet industry has paid tribute to Diana Truman, executive secretary of the Pet Product Retail Association, who died after a battle with cancer. Her funeral took place at Streetly Crematorium in Walsall on Monday.
"When her cancer took hold she never complained and remained her smiley and effervescent self, right to the end, only ceasing to come to work when she had no alternative," said Alan Hawkins, CEO of bira (the voice of independent retailers).
"A true bira star who will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her."
Diana was bira's longest serving employee, who became a much loved figure in the pet indusrty.
Janine Tozer, from Not Just Pets in Bath, described Diana as a fabulous person with a wonderful and quirky sense of humour.
"She was very professional and dedicated to her work at the PPRA and bira, hugely enthusiastic and supportive of all her colleagues and bira members. She cared about people a great deal and became a good friend to us. She will be sorely missed."
And she was a familiar face at the PATS trade shows. Organiser Gordon Thomas had this to say about Diana: "It's sad to think we won't be seeing her at industry events like PATS anymore. She was much loved by the trade."
The Pet Industry Federation has invited TV vet Marc Abraham to contact the organistion to discuss the ongoing row over selling puppies in pet shops. Abraham had accused PIF of being the primary opposition to calls for a ban in stores.
PIF issued a statement this week following the vet's comments in a blog published on the Huffington Post website called: 'Why Does the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Continue to Withhold Public Information?'
PIF said: "The Pet Industry Federation wholeheartedly supports any effort to improve the welfare of animals both within in our own industry and in a wider context. Indeed, as a professional membership organisation we work tirelessly with all our members to support them in making the welfare of animals their number one priority.
"We would encourage Marc Abraham to get in touch with PIF directly so that we can work together towards this common goal."
Pet Trade Xtra contacted Marc Abraham to see if he would accept PIF's invitation to contact them.
He responded: "It's difficult to contact someone directly when they've publicly said they'll never reply to me, and have also blocked me on twitter.
"The iissue I'm asking them about – i.e. their two PIF members selling puppies – is a matter of public interest so will make no difference whether I contact them or not with regard to the information I'm requesting. I ask again, why are they withholding public information and not telling anyone who those two PIF members they defend that continue to sell puppies are?"
In his Huffington Post blog, the founder of PupAid says: “The huge pet shop demand for puppies sustains establishments that breed puppies in large quantities with minimal costs. Inevitably this results in low standards of welfare and is the generally accepted definition of a 'puppy farm.'
“These establishments must produce and sell large numbers of puppies to survive but do not have a sufficient customer base due to poor conditions and geographical location. As a result they depend on selling to pet shops.
“The baseline is that pet shops and intensive, low welfare breeding establishments are intrinsically linked as they need and support each other. Banning the sale of puppies in pet shops would greatly reduce, if not almost eliminate, the need for 'puppy farms' to exist.”
It’s just a matter of days until the UK’s pet industry descends on Liverpool for the 2015 Pet Industry Forum & Awards.
Taking place from November 17-18 at the Crowne Plaza City Centre Hotel, the event is packed with business and networking opportunities, which all pet businesses, in particular retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, will gain much from.
A diverse range of talks will cover issues such as:
- UK pet market data
- Pets at Home’s Pet Report 2015;
- How to grow your retail business
- Working together – a better result for everyone
- Taking advantage of social media
- Strategy first; website second
On the evening of Tuesday, November 17, the winners of the Pet Industry Federation Awards will be announced at a fantastic black-tie event. The awards are a celebration of the hard work and dedication of many pet businesses who, each in their own way, help further pet ownership and raise standards of pet welfare in the UK.
More information about the event can be found at www.petfederation.co.uk.
There are still a few tickets available. They can be purchased separately for either the Forum or the Awards or as a combined ticket price, which offers the best rate.
Tickets can be bought online or by telephoning the customer service team on 01234 273933.
Pets at Home saw shares drop 8% last week following a report of weaker-than-expected sales growth in some areas. This was despite a number of new store openings and strong performance from its pet services offering.
Like-for-like sales during the first half saw growth of 1.8% compared with last year's 4.2%. Merchandise for the company was outperformed by services. Treatments like "pawdicures" – a pedicure for pets – and nutritional advice saw revenues go up 10.5%. Like-for-like sales for merchandise, however, was 1% compared to 3.7% during the same period last year.
Commenting on the results, Nick Wood, chief executive of Pets at Home, said: "Whilst trading in parts of the business has been weaker than expected, the core strategic drivers are performing well, and in order to support their growth we continue to invest in our colleagues and seamless shopping experience."
After the results were reported, shares fell to 286 pence – the steepest drop since the company floated in 2014.
Before the drop on Friday, Pets at Home had seen shares rise 86% in the past 12 months, and they rose sharply - by nearly four times – to £87 million in the year to March.
During the six months to October 8th, the company has opened eight new stores. Two of those were Barkers shops, the company's premium brand for "cultured canines".
Pets at Home says it plans to open more than 130 stores by 2016, as UK consumers have demonstrated their willingness to spend money on their pets.
The company believes that like-for-like sales figures were hit by unusually strong demand last year for anti-flea and tick treatments, due to the weather. This distorted sales of health and hygiene products.
"As we highlighted previously, profit growth will be weighted to the second half, as the strong health and hygiene comparatives ease. Our full-year profit outlook is broadly in line with market expectations," Mr Wood said.
New brand claims to introduce a revolution in dog food
McAdams, a new brand in the pet food market, claims to be the first dog food to use whole British free range chicken from ethical farms across the UK. The entire bird, minus head, feet and offal, is used in the making of the product...
McAdams, a new brand in the pet food market, claims to be the first dog food to use whole British free range chicken from ethical farms across the UK. The entire bird, minus head, feet and offal, is used in the making of the product.
McAdams is slow roasted and then warm air-dried, ensuring the flavour and aroma is maintained and creating a non-uniform, rustic shaped kibble. The gentle nature of the cooking process seals in as much of the goodness as possible.
McAdams’ recipes are all meat meal free. Most pet foods, even the premium brands, use stripped chicken carcasses and meat meal. Some pet foods claim their products contain ‘freshly prepared chicken’ when the chicken in their food is in fact meat meal and carcass, which some argue may be confusing to consumers.
McAdams has listened to dog owners and has made the product grain free, which many pet owners are turning to in the food they choose for their dogs.
The whole free range British chickens used in McAdams are blended with sweet potato for slow release carbohydrates, green lipped mussel for joint care and a variety of fruits and vegetables to give dogs all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need for a healthy life.
In a recent taste test, McAdams was the dogs’ first choice in over 70% of feeding trials. Owners were impressed by the ‘roast dinner’ smell and liked the unique shape of the kibble stating that it made their dogs chew their food properly and eat more slowly, aiding good digestion.
Neil McAdam, Managing Director and creator of McAdams Pet Foods, says: “I initially set out to create healthy, ethical and tasty food for my Labrador George, who suffers with epilepsy and a heart condition. I wanted to feed George the best food possible but wasn’t happy with the quality of dog food available. After two years of research, tests and determination, I have created something that George loves and is made using only the best ingredients available today. I am extremely proud to now be launching McAdams as an ultra-premium brand into the pet food market, for dogs all over the country to enjoy.”
From humble beginnings in a Sussex country kitchen to becoming a nationally sold product, McAdams can be purchased at www.petscorner.co.uk and in 15 Pets Corner stores across Sussex and Kent as well as in the 50 Sheep Pet Store in Lewes, Sussex. The brand will be launched into all Pets Corner stores across England from mid-November.
Above: Comparison between chicken carcass used in most pet food brands and whole chicken used in McAdams.
The PetQuip association has announced that eligible British firms will have the opportunity to receive cash grants to help them exhibit at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida (16 to 18 March 2016) after PetQuip secured British government funding for eligible UK exhibitors.
The exhibiting companies can benefit from attractive £2,000 investment grants, which are subject to UKTI terms and conditions. Details of the grants and other information on the association’s support package are available from PetQuip.
Following the success of the PetQuip-organised British group at the last five editions of Global Pet Expo, the association is expecting considerable demand and as stand space is limited, interested companies are urged to apply early.
The director general of PetQuip, Amanda Sizer Barrett highlighting the importance of the show, said: “The sheer size of the North American market for pet products makes Global Pet Expo a very attractive proposition for UK suppliers. This is highlighted in The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimate that the total U.S. pet industry expenditure is over $60 billion, and in the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey that states that 65% of US households own a pet, equating to 79.7 million homes.
"The survey further estimates there are over 85 million cats and more than 77 million dogs. In addition to the huge scale of the US market, another significant consideration for UK suppliers is that in 2015, 29 per cent of visitors to Global Pet Expo were from outside the US, representing around 82 countries.”
UK exhibitors in the PetQuip-organised group will be located in a prime position within a British-branded and themed pavilion area as part of the organiser’s international pavilion. The position is close to ‘The Boutique’ and ‘What’s New’ areas which lead onto the very popular New Product Showcase. The location of the pavilion is expected to attract significant footfall in 2016.
PetQuip’s comprehensive support package for the British exhibiting companies will include: advice and information about how to prepare for and how to maximise a company’s presence at the show; support from an industry information stand organised and manned by the experienced PetQuip team; press editorial and promotion on exhibitor’s products prior to, during and after the show; preview marketing material distributed to named buyers in advance of the show; and help with freight, travel and accommodation and other logistics.
Interested companies should contact PetQuip to receive further information and costs and to book a stand. Call or email Theresa Swann or Emma Lewis: 01959 565 995; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Further facts about Global Pet Expo
- Global Pet Expo is the largest North American trade show for the pet sector with over 311,000 net square feet of exhibition space.
- All visitors to the show are ‘qualified attendees’ representing large pet shop chains and pet superstores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers, speciality buyers, e-tailers, key distributors and wholesalers.
- Exhibits represent all sectors of the pet product industry including items for cats and dogs, small mammals, birds, plus products for the aquatics, reptile and equine sectors.
- The show is organised by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and staged in conjunction with PIDA (Pet Industry Distributors Association).
More export success forecast following Meet the Buyer
British suppliers of garden and pet products are set to make further inroads into export markets following their participation in another successful ‘Meet the Buyers’ event organised by the Gardenex and PetQuip associations...
British suppliers of garden and pet products are set to make further inroads into export markets following their participation in another successful ‘Meet the Buyers’ event organised by the Gardenex and PetQuip associations.
The latest event has resulted already in positive reactions from a Romanian importer/distributor who expects to be placing orders with four or five of the garden product suppliers he met at the event.
Similar good news comes from a pet product buyer from Iceland who is now in meaningful discussions with three UK suppliers. Feedback is awaited from the other buyers from Serbia and Switzerland, although the Swiss pet product buyer has described the experience as “fantastic event that would result in some good and long-lasting relationships."
Pictured at the event are (clockwise): Ion Waszkiewicz (standing far left) of Coralya, Romania; Charlie Parker of Gardenex; Olga Gίsladόttir and Kristίn Gίsladόttir of Garheimar, Iceland; Daniela Chirico Peña S of Petco A, Switzerland; and Erwin Meier-Honegger of Meier, Switzerland.
Commenting on the ‘Meet the Buyers’ events that have been organised by Gardenex and PetQuip for many years, commercial manager Charlie Parker said: “Without doubt, the format of these events has proved to be very successful for seasoned UK exporters, firms that are new to market and with the visiting overseas buyers.
"Each year we aim to bring buyers from around twenty different countries to the UK and every event has resulted in new export business for the attending suppliers from the garden, leisure and pet sectors. ‘Meet the Buyers’ days have an important role to play within our expanding programme of export-creating events and we are already recruiting buyers for our next ‘Meet the Buyers’ day which will be held on 2 March 2016. The event will also include an information programme focussing on ‘Global Opportunities for Garden and Pet."
Companies interested in attending future ‘Meet the Buyers’ events can register their interest by contacting either Theresa Swann on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma Lewis on email: email@example.com
For more information visit www.gardenex.com or www.petquip.com
Billy + Margot is launching three 150g wet food pots to cater for small and medium size breeds.
Marie Sawle, Billy + Margot’s founder, says: “Owners of small and medium size dogs have been asking us for some time to offer an alternative to our larger wet food tins. We are delighted to be able to offer them a single-serve format ensuring a fresh, easy-to-serve meal each time.”
The new 150g pots come in three flavours: Chicken with garden vegetables & orchard fruits; Beef & Green tripes with Carrot & Garden herbs; Venison with Green beans & blueberries.
As with all its other products Billy + Margot wet food is made in Britain using the finest ingredients. Each version is full of superfoods, making it a nutritious complete every day meal for dogs.
Not only is the food grain free but it also only contains single protein sources making it easy for consumers to select the right food for their dog who may suffer from certain health conditions.
The 150g wet food range will be available from 1st November.
For more information or to become a stockist contact Billy + Margot on 02392 633 855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Foss Feeds from York has won the star prize of £250 of free stock in Wagg's 'Spin to Win' competiton held at PATS Telford...
The ‘Spin to Win’ wheel attracted a great amount of attention from the visitors trying to get their hands on some fantastic free stock prizes. Not only did entrants get an on the spot chance to win, they were also put into the Star Prize Draw. Congratulations to Foss Feeds located in York, North Yorkshire who won this great prize!
Malcolm from Foss Feeds (pictured below with Wagg’s Max Taylor, received a delivery from Armstrong Richards of £250 of free stock, including a mixture of food and treats across both Harringtons and Wagg brands.
Grain-free treats added to Petface’s ‘Dog Deli’ range
Petface has introduced new Grain Free Baked Biscuits to its popular and established ‘Dog Deli’ range, with four new creative and tasty flavours – Apple Orchard & Cheese, Rhubarb & Vanilla, Cinnamon Toast and Pumpkin Pie...
Petface has introduced new Grain Free Baked Biscuits to its popular and established ‘Dog Deli’ range, with four new creative and tasty flavours – Apple Orchard & Cheese, Rhubarb & Vanilla, Cinnamon Toast and Pumpkin Pie.
These are ‘Absolute Premium’ dog biscuits specially baked in the UK using locally sourced ingredients with no additives, flavourings, colours or preservatives.
Each biscuit is individually tray baked for 30 minutes in one of the company’s ‘Clean Heat’ Biomass wood ovens, producing a healthy, tasty and digestible treat for dogs, manufactured responsibly within a ‘Carbon Neutral’ environment.
The treats come in convenient easy snap bone shapes, are vegetarian, gluten free and hypo-allergenic. They are not sprayed with oils or fats and are made using human grade ingredients to a highly digestible calorie controlled recipe.
Each flavour is packed into one of four different eye catching ‘Dog Deli’ branded bags which are air sealed to maintain a two-year shelf life. Broken biscuits are disgarded before packing and 10 individual packs are boxed per outer.
In 2016 Petface will be expanding the range to include meat and fish based flavours such as Aberdeen Angus Beef and Scottish Salmon.
For more information visit www.petface.com
AQUA 2015 was another significant milestone for Interpet with a fantastically positive response to the launch of its latest market changing creative innovation and the continued roll out of a new look.
The Interpet indoor brand is now over 60 years old but the last two years has seen some of the fastest growth in its history and the introduction of over 120 new products to the market across all categories. However it has not all been about product, the Interpet team has also been investing in improving and developing relationships with its trade customers and getting to know consumers through social media.
New products launched at AQUA 2015 included Tri Spec LED lighting. Interpet’s unique CF filtered aquarium range was extended further with the launch of the FishBox LED ensuring that Interpet now has an aquarium to suit every customer.
The other major story was the rejuvenation of the market leading Interpet Aquarium treatment range.
Mark Dalton, Interpet Aquatic product marketing manager, says: “AQUA 2015 is a great opportunity to present our new brand look across all categories: Aquariums, heating, lighting, filtration, aeration and treatments. Brand change is a tricky but rewarding development in any business. Customers are delighted that we have managed to bring a whole fresh modern look to the brand whilst retaining Interpet’s famous heritage.”
Interpet’s aim is to make fish keeping simple. The new products, updated brand and communication is aimed to help our consumers enjoy their hobby and ensure successful fishkeeping at all experience levels. Interpet created a video of its time at the show which highlights the new products and the fantastic atmosphere around the stand. It can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uyIf4lTBSM
Online support, solution led problem solving and the inclusion of over 60 year’s expertise in fishkeeping makes consumer self-selection much easier which helps support the busy retailer.
84% of vets give up time to work with animal charities
The majority of veterinary surgeons in the UK - more than 4 in 5 - provide some of their time and veterinary expertise at a reduced rate, while more than 2 in 5 give their time to work unpaid with animal charities and shelters to treat thousands of abandoned, mistreated or injured animals each year...
The majority of veterinary surgeons in the UK - more than 4 in 5 - provide some of their time and veterinary expertise at a reduced rate, while more than 2 in 5 give their time to work unpaid with animal charities and shelters to treat thousands of abandoned, mistreated or injured animals each year.
The charitable contributions that vets make to assist animals are highlighted today with the release of results from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), which asked vets about the arrangements they have with charities. The results show that across the UK:
Charitable activities vary from practice to practice and vets often work with local animal shelters and national animal charities to provide a range of pro bono or reduced fee services, such as health checking, medicating and treating, neutering and vaccinating.
- 72% have formal arrangements with charities to provide veterinary services at a reduced fee with the figure rising to 84% when including less formal set-ups
- 43% of vets do unpaid work for animal charities or other animal welfare organisations
- Many vets give up their time providing veterinary care at animal shelters and rescue centres to improve the health and welfare of animals in need, ranging from treating injured wildlife to caring for abandoned and mistreated dogs and cats.
- Many veterinary practices provide veterinary advice to homeless people and those in housing crisis, and care for their dogs as part of the Dogs Trust Hope Project. Vets also support other projects, such as the Freedom Project, which temporarily fosters animals belonging to families fleeing domestic violence.
- Overbreeding of cats and dogs contributes to thousands of unwanted and neglected pets each year. Vets help reduce the numbers and help improve animal welfare by teaming up with charities, some of which provide neutering vouchers to owners on limited incomes. Vets helped neuter 158,000 cats and kittens with Cats Protection in 2014 alone.
- Over 300 veterinary practices undertake work for the charity PDSA, providing treatment to animals of owners on means-tested benefits. The scheme ensures some of the most disadvantaged people in society can access veterinary treatment to keep their pets healthy.
Commenting, BVA President Sean Wensley, said: “Behind these statistics are countless stories of veterinary teams – who already often work long, demanding hours – giving their time for free to support animal rescue staff and charities to care for abandoned, injured and neglected animals, as well as help owners to keep and care for much loved animals in times of hardship and crisis.
- Vets never turn away an un-owned or wild animal needing emergency treatment. The RSPCA and BVA recognise the essential role vets play with the Initial Emergency Treatment (IET) scheme. When a member of the public finds a sick or injured stray or wild animal, vets will always provide necessary treatment, and may receive a charitable contribution towards the cost of that treatment, for instance through the RSPCA IET scheme.
"The UK’s network of animal charities and rehoming centres do a fantastic job protecting wild and domestic animals each year. Animal welfare legislation is clear that animal keepers and owners are responsible for meeting their animals’ needs, and prospective animal owners must be aware of the cost and time commitment involved in animal ownership, but we appreciate people’s circumstances can change.”
RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer James Yeates, commenting on the IET scheme, said: “Vets’ work in this area can go unrecognised but it is appreciated by the RSPCA that they are part of the team trying to help animals. The RSPCA is dedicated to helping animals most in need and relies on vets’ welfare work to help bring a stop to the suffering of all animals.”
A former town centre pet shop could be turned into a takeaway and restaurant if plans are given the green light.
An application has been re-submitted to planning chiefs at South Tyneside Council for permission to carry out the conversion on the property in Ocean Road.
If given the go-ahead, the shop would be turned into a hot food takeaway with a licensed restaurant and snack bar or cafe on the first floor.
The front of the building will be replaced with a double glazed entrance, which would also accommodate wheelchair access to the ground floor.
March Pet Shop owner Robert Phipps has been disqualified from keeping dogs for 18 months following a court appearance in Peterborough.
The disqualification follows an appeal hearing against a court sentencing in February this year when Phipps was found guilty of three animal welfare charges:
- Between January 6 2014 and February 28 2014 at Commercial Road premises he failed to meet the needs for a suitable environment for 34 dogs.
- Between the same dates at the Commercial Road premises he failed to meet the needs of 34 dogs by failing to provide an appropriate supply of fresh drinking water.
- And also he failed to meet the needs of one dog because it was housed in such circumstances that it was able to fight through the cage bars.
The court heard the RSPCA was given information that Phipps, who ran JJ Rescue, was keeping dogs in cramped conditions in cages at his Commercial Road warehouse and they were obliged to investigate.
What they found were two smallish rooms each housing 17 dogs in metal cages. One room was a closed internal space without fresh air or natural light.
Video evidence shows dog crates stacked on top of each other, some three cages high.
Recorder Ian Glen said: “We’re quite satisfied that your heart was in the right place, but we think a breathing space will do you some good. In order that you can come up with a business plan and get your act together in the care of your dogs.”
As well as the disqualification Phipps was ordered to pay £2,000 in court costs - £1,000 for the earlier appearance in February and £1,000 for today’s proceedings.
He was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.
Shop Direct, the owner of the Very and Littlewoods brands, has announced that Pets at Home Executive Director, Phil Hackney, will join the company as its new Operations Director.
He will take responsibility for Logistics, Fulfilment and Customer Service when he joins the company in the new year. He will join the Shop Direct executive board and will report to CEO, Alex Baldock.
Hackney has worked at Pets at Home since 2007, where he was Executive Director in charge of Logistics and Business Systems.
Commenting on the appointment, Baldock said: “I am delighted that Phil is joining Shop Direct. He is a logistics guru with tonnes of e-comm experience, and I am really looking forward to acting on Phil’s ideas to take our operations to the next level.”
Last week Shop Direct announced a third consecutive year of record profits. The retailer, which in recent years has shifted its business from home shopping catalogues to online, saw pre-tax profits grow by 78% to £71.7m. Group sales were up 3% to £1.8bn with Very.co.uk delivering sales growth of 21.1% to £850m.
Ancol Pet Products has agreed a five-year partnership with Birmingham Dogs Home.
The partnership brings together two Midlands organisations that are passionate about dogs and their welfare.
Over the next five years, Ancol and Birmingham Dogs Home will work together on a series of campaigns, competitions and events to help raise awareness and funding for the home.
To mark the partnership, Ancol is donating £25,000 to Birmingham Dogs Home to go towards the costs of looking after stray and abandoned dogs at their new £6 million centre near Solihull, which opened last month.
Ancol Sales Director Sarah Lane commented: “We’ve always been supportive of Birmingham Dogs Home and are delighted to have cemented this partnership. We’re so impressed with their new centre and the facilities it offers, we would urge everyone to pay a visit.”
Chief Executive of Birmingham Dogs Home, Simon Price added: “On behalf of Birmingham Dogs Home, we are very grateful to Ancol for donating £25,000 which will no doubt help the thousands of dogs we look after every year. We really look forward to working with them over the next five years on some exciting campaigns and events.”
In recent years, Ancol has worked with Birmingham Dogs Home on a number of projects, including Ancol’s Dog Model competition and Birmingham Dog’s Home’s Walk in the Park event earlier this year, which raised over £2,000 for the charity.
For more information on stocking Ancol’s huge range of products for dogs, cats and small animals, visit www.ancol.co.uk or talk to your local Ancol sales representative.Pictured: Sarah Lane with Simon Price and rescue dog Claude at the new centre.
Vets braced for pet ‘fright nights’ in November
UK vets are bracing themselves for another influx of terrified and injured pets this Bonfire Night, as PDSA reveals it treated 800 animals for fireworks phobias and injuries in the past year.
- 800 terrified pets needed treatment for fireworks phobias
- Two pet firework fatalities
- 11 pets were seriously injured
- Millions of UK pets left quaking in fear
UK vets are bracing themselves for another influx of terrified and injured pets this Bonfire Night, as PDSA reveals it treated 800 animals for fireworks phobias and injuries in the past year.
The vet charity warns this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as millions of pets are frightened by the noise of fireworks.
Tragically, the fear is often well founded: PDSA also treated 11 pets for serious fireworks-related injuries in the last 12 months, including two whose injuries were so severe they had to be euthanised.
In one case a dog managed to pick up a lit firework, causing severe burns to its mouth. In another shocking case a stray firework landed on a dog’s head causing it to flee into the path of a car.
PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones warned people to be mindful of the damaging effects fireworks have on animals, as the charity issued guidance to pet owners to keep their four-legged companions safe.
Vicki said: “The fireworks season is now in full-swing with people celebrating Halloween and Bonfire Night across the UK. But while these occasions are often great fun for families, it’s important to remember that they can be a terrifying experience for our pets.
“Millions of UK pets are affected by fireworks and, while there might not seem much we can do to avoid them, we can take steps to minimise the fear and anxiety many pets suffer.”
PDSA has treated a total of 771 pets for fireworks phobia since October 2014. Treatment includes:
In the most severe cases, vets prescribed anxiety drugs to avoid pets causing serious injury to themselves or others.
- Advising pet owners on desensitisation techniques they can adopt at home in advance of firework season.\
- Pheromone products help pets relax,
- Playing music with a repetitive beat
Vicki added: “Pets cannot understand the sound of loud bangs outside which leads to fear and anxiety setting in. Many of our pets have very acute hearing, which only adds to the impact of these sounds.
“All pets can be affected and become anxious and stressed. Dogs may tremble, pace, pant and become ‘clingy’, while cats may try to hide behind furniture, or attempt to run away. Both dogs and cats may refuse to eat and may toilet in the house because of firework-related stress. Rabbits may freeze and remain motionless, or may panic and try to escape their hutches.
“To try to avoid firework fear with your pet, early socialisation is important to get them used to such noises. As hard as it is, when your pet is displaying any of these signs of anxiety, don’t reassure them as you can inadvertently be reinforcing their feeling that there’s something to be worried about.”
Vicki said that for any pets who are fearful, veterinary advice should be sought including long-term behavioural therapy.
Thanks to funding support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PDSA has produced a fireworks advice guide for pet owners. This can be viewed on the website, along with the option to download a free advice leaflet, at www.pdsa.org.uk/fireworks
Zakk, a Collie-Alsatian cross, ended up with severe wounds to his legs and paws last Bonfire Night after becoming spooked by fireworks and bolting from his owner’s garden.
The 10-year-old dog from Stoke had been let out into the garden by owner Kirsty Burton when a neighbour released fireworks in their garden. Zakk immediately panicked at the sound and ran off.
Kirsty (22) said: “It was quiet when I let Zakk out, then the fireworks suddenly started. Zakk just fled, he jumped straight over the gate and ran off.
“We spent the next few hours searching for him, with no luck. We were so worried. One of our neighbours found him in their garden the next day, he had blood all over him and his paws were cut.”
Zakk was taken to PDSA’s Stoke Pet Hospital where vets assessed the wounds on his front legs and paws.
Duncan Senior, PDSA Senior Vet, said: “We can’t say for sure what happened to Zakk that night but he sustained some quite nasty injuries. It was initially hard to see the extent of the wounds to Zakk’s legs due to swelling.
“We cleaned and dressed his wounds and prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection.
“It took around a month for Zakk’s wounds to heal sufficiently and he’s now made a full recovery, but he is incredibly lucky that he didn’t sustain more serious injuries.
“This case highlights how important it is to keep our pets safe at this time of year. They can easily become scared and go missing, putting them at risk of road accidents or other hazards.”
Kirsty still doesn’t know exactly how Zakk sustained his injuries but she is now much more wary about his safety during the fireworks season.
She said: “He might have been hit by a car but we’ll never know for sure. Zakk had never shown any fear of fireworks before but I’ll be more wary before letting him out for the toilet or taking him on a walk.”
ACANA, the Biologically Appropriat food for dogs and cats, has committed to sponsoring top UK flyball team, Aces High.
ACANA is imported from Champion Petfoods in Canada by Bern Pet Foods. ACANA is the sister brand to ORIJEN and is made with the same fresh regionally sourced ingredients and prepared in the same kitchens at Champion Petfoods, the only difference being the recipes.
Twenty-eight of the Aces High Flyball team dogs are being transitioned from their previous diets onto specifically chosen ACANA products, whether it is from the Classics, Regionals or Singles range. Jeannette Shelley and Sarah Lesting, from Aces High Flyball have worked very closely with nutritionist and director of Bern Pet Foods, Karen Rodger, to ensure that every dog has the correct diet for its needs.
Jeannette, Captain of Aces High, commented; “We are absolutely delighted with the transformation in our dogs since we have changed their feed to ACANA. They have so much more energy, drive and most importantly, stamina. Any weight or allergy issues have been remedied.”
“We are an incredibly dedicated, competitive team and work really hard to put Flyball on the map as a growing sport in the UK. The combination of our regular training, team dedication and, what we believe is the most appropriate nutrition for our dogs, really should be a winning formula. We are very optimistic for success for all our teams in 2016.”
The sponsorship was officially launched at the Ardingly Showground on October 10 at an event hosted by Aces High.
Karen Rodger, Director of Bern Pet Foods, said: “It was a fantastic event, really fast-paced and exciting. There was no doubt that ACANA were the sponsors and there was a lot of discussion within the flyball community regarding its obvious nutritional merits. We are very much looking forward to working closely with Aces High through the next season and ensuring that each dog is performing to its maximum potential”
For more information on the range of ACANA Dog & Cat foods visit www.acanapetfoods.co.uk. For trade enquiries contact Bern Pet Foods on sales@BernPetFoods.co.uk or call 01737 767679.
To follow the successes of Aces High Flyball Team visit www.aceshighflyball.co.uk.
Pets at Home has become the first store to open at the Yate Riverside cinema development in Gloucestershire.
The store was opened by town mayor Cllr Tony Davis on Friday (October 30) signalling the final stages of completion of the development, which also includes a six-screen cinema, Next clothing and home store and six restaurants.
Store manager Briony Briscoe said the first few days of trading had exceeded expectations.
She said: “What a fantastic start - our opening weekend went even better than we had hoped and it was great to welcome Mayor Davis.”
The Yate branch of Pets at Home includes an aquatics centre, reptile centre, a groom room and Vets4Pets practice.
It is also home to an adoption centre where pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and other small animals are cared for until a new loving home can be found.
The Cineworld cinema at Yate Riverside will open at Easter 2016 with restaurants including Prezzo, Frankie and Benny’s and Nando’s due to open before Christmas. The Next store will open on December 10.
Americans spent $350 million on pet costumes at Halloween, according to a new survey from Prosper Insights and Analytics and the National Retail Federation.
Approximately 157 million Americans celebrated Halloween this year, spending about $6.9 billion in total as they do. And 68 million Americans will dressed up in Halloween costumes, with another 20 million pet owners dressing their pets.
Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis said spending for Halloween this year was down slightly from last year.
“Consumers are really just taking more of a conservative approach to buying new items, meaning that they will take a look at what they already have, especially after years of stocking up, and decide what they really need from a store, from a retailer to celebrate this year,” said Grannis.