A new pet accessory called the Mookie is set to take the industry by storm. The product, which is the brainchild of legal expert Patricia Stephens, can be used as both a grooming brush and massager.
Launched on Friday, the Mookie has already created lots of interest, and Patricia is excited about its prospects both in the UK and abroad.
With its cap on, the Mookie acts a gentle massager to help relax pets and therefore owners. With the cap off, its specially designed, plastic bristles detangle sensitive areas of fur. The product is designed for use on medium to long-haired cats, dogs and rabbits.
"The idea first came to me when I realised there wasn't a 'fun' dog brush on the market that wasn't intimidating to dogs, who don't like conventional grooming brushes,” said Patricia.
Patricia is a Cambridge-trained lawyer who worked for various London city firms after graduating. After her son was injured in a skiing accident she moved to Bishops Stortford in 2001, where she lives with her two dogs, West Highland Terrier Doddy and Spaniel-Schnauzer-cross Ella. She now works from home as a consultant to the medical profession.
Patricia took time out from her hectic schedule to talk to Pet Trade Xtra about the development of the Mookie.
How did you come up with the idea?
It was my West Highland Terrier who hated being brushed with conventional brushes so I decided to have a go at designing my own.
Is the Mookie based on your design?
Yes completely, I hold almost worldwide registered design protection. I have a file showing the progression of the design to the final article.
How did you turn your design into reality?
The whole project has taken over four years from the initial conceptual designs, prototyping, design registration and latterly finding the right product manufacturer and packaging company in this country. The manufacturing process itself took over two years going through various material and colour sampling stages including amazing collaboration between the manufacturer and the colour suppliers who went through many weeks in their labs to get the right colour mixes for the material the product is made of. At the moment I am only selling on line but I had an approach from a pet shop this morning which I am following up on.
Would you like pet shops and garden centres to sell it?
Where did the name Mookie come from?
It was the name of my Aunt’s cat in France.
Are there more pet products in the pipeline?
Yes, there are designs for another groomer/massager which will be called MookieMax but as I only have trade mark protection at the moment I cannot divulge any more. We are also thinking about other accessories within the brand for the future.
How do you fit your legal work around developing the Mookie brand?
My main job is my legal work, but I manage to find time for the Mookie as well. As I work from home it is a very good fit.
You must be proud of the finished product?
I am extremely proud that this lovely product has been designed and made in this country and to an exceptional standard. The manufacturer, Elbmar Ltd of Swindon, has been absolutely fantastic.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
The handle is made from a material that it is very squidgy and tactile – it actually feels like velvet. The material is FDA approved so it will not harm children or pets if put in their mouths.
For more information on the product or how to contact Patricia visit www.mookiepet.com
Health testing, designed to support responsible dog breeding by screening for hereditary conditions, is helping to improve the health of breeds across the UK, according to new statistics from the Canine Health Schemes.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club jointly run the Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Schemes to screen dogs for certain inherited conditions. Owners and breeders can use the results from the schemes to make informed breeding decisions to help produce healthier puppies and work towards eliminating debilitating inherited conditions.
The latest data from the Hip and Elbow Schemes show a clear and sustained reduction in the incidence and severity of these conditions.
BVA President Sean Wensley said: “The latest statistics from Canine Health Schemes clearly demonstrate that responsible breeding, supported by testing, can make a difference to the health and welfare of dogs.
“Health considerations are particularly important when it comes to mating, and it is vital that the risk of passing on inherited conditions is continually reduced. The hip and elbow dysplasia tests are extremely useful tools for breeders and vets, both of whom want to ensure the health and welfare of future generations of dogs.
“Vets have a vital role to play both in encouraging clients to screen for inherited conditions before dogs are used for mating, and, for the Hip and Elbow Schemes, in submitting all diagnostic x-rays taken so that an accurate picture of what is happening in the different breeds is obtained. Anyone thinking of breeding from their dog or considering buying a puppy should ask their vet about relevant health screening.”
Results from the Hip Dysplasia Scheme, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, showed improvements in the median scores of 20 of the 21 most-scored breeds over the last 15 years, indicating a reduction in the incidence and severity of hip dysplasia in scored dogs. The remaining breed, Tibetan Terrier, has maintained a low median score for the entire period.
Results from the Elbow Dysplasia Scheme give the numbers and percentage of the different grades (0-3) for all breeds combined for each year since 1998. This also shows a clear reduction in the incidence and severity of the condition in the dogs which have been assessed under the scheme, with a higher percentage dogs from all breeds achieving grade 0 (normal elbows) and fewer dogs grading 1, 2 and 3 (affected).
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “This data goes to show just how much of a positive effect health testing is having on the health and welfare of dogs.
“The BVA/KC Canine Health Schemes are useful tools to support responsible breeding and, as evidence from the data from the hip and elbow schemes, they are going a long way in protecting the future health of the UK’s dogs.”
“Breeders who health test their dogs should be tremendously proud that they are having such a sustained positive impact on dog health, and we would encourage any breeder who does not currently use the schemes to do so, to enable the positive results to continue.”
The Canine Health Schemes cover hip and elbow dysplasia as well as hereditary eye disease and Chiari-malformation/Syringomyelia. Breeders interested in using Canine Health Schemes testing should contact their vet for further information.
The statistics and additional information about the Canine Health Schemes are available at www.bva.co.uk/Canine-Health-Schemes/
As part of its plans for continued growth, Dog Rocks is looking to appoint a Head of Sales in the UK. It is a new role within the company.
"We are looking for a Head of Sales now and will assign them largely existing UK accounts," said Dog Rocks CEO Carina Evans. "If all goes to plan we will be looking for territory heads – i.e. HOS USA and HOS UK and HOS Europe, probably in March 2016.
"Our leading product Dog Rocks has generated a good deal of sales but more importantly its our relationship with buyers that we really value. We exist to aid the pet parenting journey, to bring to market innovative, unique and where possible natural products that help to fulfil the joy and responsibility that owning a pet brings. If we can do more work with existing accounts then we are onto a good thing.
'As we have grown we are nowadays asked for and presented with a number of products that fit our bill, (a recent example is the Torus Watering System). That said, however, we must as a first stage, capitiise on the products that are already in our stable and the accounts we already service. We want to pay back their faith in us by generating more income all round."
The successful candidate will concentrate on existing accounts and will farm relationships the company has already. They will also be expected to gather new business.
"As we bring new products to market we value excellent customer care with frictionless delivery and we have a really empowered and engaged team," added Carina. "This feeds through to our customers and we want to engage further with that customer so that we can play an important part of the pet service and product industry.
"We are proud of where we are but know we can improve and the various roles advertised on our website are all part of that journey.
"The values we hold dear should be demonstrated by the new Head of Sales. To name a few, we value honesty, integrity, creativity, energy, flexibility, problem solving and the desire to improve. These values are core to our business and the service we provide and so need to be core to any new member of our team."
Full details of the Head of Sales position and how to apply are advertised in this week's Pet Trade Xtra. Click here to read the advertisement.
A Bolton couple, who opened a pet shop in their front room, are bowing out of the business after 27 years.
Audrey and Stephen Court started Courts Pet Shop in the converted living room of their house in Chorley Old Road, Doffcocker, in 1988 while continuing to live in the back and upstairs.
Mrs Court said: "There was no pet shop in the area but my husband was a landscape gardener and I used to work in finance – we just decided to set it up. We hadn't any business experience at all."The couple later extended the shop to take up the whole ground floor and eventually moved to live elsewhere but kept the store running.
Mrs Court said: "We have had some wonderful customers, both past and present, and the children of former customers are bringing in their own children.
"We have enjoyed it. We're retiring and we'll miss the customers and having a little chat when they come in."
The couple have put the pet shop up for sale but will shut for good if there are no takers.
Dogs Trust has teamed up with some of the nation’s most famous faces to launch their iconic campaign, ‘A Dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas’, following a year of ludicrous excuses offered up by dog owners when giving up their pets to Dogs Trusts 20 rehoming centres across the UK.
The line-up of celebrity dog lovers includes Sky News’s Eamonn Holmes, Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington, Great British Bake Off’s Mel Giedroyc and comedian Jon Richardson whose shocked reactions were captured as they read out the farcical and sometimes bizarre excuses given by members of the public who no longer want their dogs.
Whilst the excuses are laughable and delivered with a comedic panache, the serious undertone cannot be ignored as the stars paused to reflect on the inexcusable and throwaway attitude some people have towards dog ownership. The charity’s staff have recorded the most preposterous excuses heard over the last twelve months, including:
Dogs Trust’s Chief Executive, Adrian Burder explains: “Sadly, there are many understandable reasons why people have to give up their dogs and we appreciate that circumstances can change beyond their control, however we cannot fathom that dogs should lose their security, comfort and home for such reasons they ‘ate the banoffee pie’ or ‘sat in front of the TV when the football was on.”
- He’s too perfect
- The fence was hit by lightning so we took it as a sign that we shouldn’t have a dog
- He kept sitting in front of the TV when the football was on
- He got into the fridge and he ate the banoffee pie
- He chewed my model helicopter
- He kept chewing the grandchildren’s nappies
- All he does is sleep
- He doesn’t bark
- He only poos in our garden
- He kept distracting the children from revising for their GCSEs
- He kept pulling the noses off the children’s toys
- He’s scared of tin foil
- He doesn’t pay any attention to the baby
- He kept eating our apples and pooped on the very expensive rug
- The fence was hit by lightning so we took it as a sign that we shouldn’t have a dog
- He kept sitting in front of the TV when the football was on
"We are immensely grateful to the star-studded cast who so enthusiastically volunteered their time to help Dogs Trust share such a valuable message, it is heartwarming to see how much they care about dog welfare. After nearly 40 years of highlighting our iconic slogan, “A dog is For Life Not Just For Christmas”, we hope that with their help, we can help even more even people understand that dogs should be treated as valued family members, not fashion accessories, trends or commodities that can be cast off when their appeal wears thin.”
British singer-songwriter Ella Eyre said: “Being involved in this Dogs Trust Christmas campaign has really opened my eyes. I can’t believe how ridiculous some of the reasons that people give up their dogs can be! Hopefully this video will raise awareness of responsible dog ownership, and spread the important message that a ‘Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas’.”
TV personality and Dogs Trust Patron Eamonn Holmes says: "I had no idea how powerful the slogan ‘A Dog is for Life’ was until I went out there and brought our Dogs Trust rescue dog Maggie into my life. Now she is for life, but she also changed my life in so many ways. “
Television presenter Mel Giedroyc said: “As a dog lover, to hear some of the downright bonkers reasons why people give up their dogs shocks and sadden me. Hopefully this video will highlight how important responsible dog ownership is.”
AmPet Products sales and marketing director Alex Wilson had an unexpected surprise after following up a lead he received on the company’s stand at PATS Telford in September.
Alex visited Cuddles A Plenty, who provide a pet sitting and dog walking service in the Nottingham area, with the intention of securing an order for the company’s wide range of products.
“You can imagine my surprise when Dionne at Cuddles A Plenty asked me to conduct puppy training classes for her customers. I never expected to come away from my meeting with such a request,” said Alex.
Alex is an experienced dog trainer and a Tellington TTouch Practitioner, and is well qualified to take up the offer from Cuddles A Plenty.
“AmPet had a great show at PATS Telford, showcasing our wide range of products, including XtraDog harnesses which are ideal for dog training purposes,” added Alex. “So it was fantastic to receive this additional request.”
PATS organiser Annie Foord admitted it was great to hear stories like Alex’s where unusual business opportunities had developed following contacts made at the event,
“Our exhibitions are a fantastic networking opportunity where people working within the pet industry can meet experts who can help grow their businesses.”
AmPet Products have already booked their stand for PATS Sandown, which is being held on March 22-23, 2016.
Petface has launched ‘Doggy Dino’s’, a range of four fun dog toys named Greeno, Rocky, Spiko & Vegi ‘Saurus’, all specially created to promote indoor and outdoor playtime.
These characterful modern-day dinosaurs are manufactured to be durable, giving hours of safe enjoyment for all demanding dogs.
Playing tug, or simply throw, hide and fetch, is all in a day's work for these tough guys.
Each toy is made from heavy-duty fabric with tough cotton lining for extra strength.
Their crumple zone centre cores are moulded from safe and natural, bite resistant rubber with a safety-enclosed squeaker to excite and gain the interest of even the coolest character.
For more information about Petface products visit www.petface.co.uk
Turkey Sausages with Cranberry are a festive hit
As the Christmas shopping frenzy leaps into top gear, dog lovers are making sure their beloved hounds are getting spoilt this year with The Innocent Hound’s air-dried Turkey Sausages with Cranberry...
As the Christmas shopping frenzy leaps into top gear, dog lovers are making sure their beloved hounds are getting spoilt this year with The Innocent Hound’s air-dried Turkey Sausages with Cranberry.
Made with 80% British turkey meat, potatoes and juicy cranberries, these luxury treats are a delicious, mini Christmas lunch in a sausage
The Innocent Hound’s treats are hypoallergenic, grain free and have a 12 month shelf-life. RRP is £4.95 for 100g. Stock is very limited so order soon to avoid disappointed hounds.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01765 641338.
Leading pet care expert Dr Karen Becker is one of eight specialists lined up for talks at the inaugural Natural Dog Conference In Birmingham this weekend (December 5-6).
The finishing touches to the preparations for the UK’s first-ever conference dedicated to natural dog care.
The two-day event will offer insights, tips and knowledge on how best to care for a dog ethically, naturally, holistically, and provide advice on being kind to the environment in the process.
Leading vets, nutrition experts, behaviour specialists and holistic therapists from around the world will be there to offer their knowledge, and importantly their listening ear and support.
Organisers Dean Barrow and Caroline Griffith are thrilled with the response to the event.
‘’We feel the natural pet care sector is truly a growing field with huge interest from dog owners with and an even huger amount of questions and choices,” said Caroline.
“The conference aims to answer those questions and finally provide the truth about natural dog care from leading veterinary specialists and experts in their field.
“Reducing a dog’s carbon pawprint whilst extending their happiness, health and time with you, what can be better?”
Tickets for this pioneering event are still available as this piece goes live, but are now very limited.information and booking links can be found at the events website www.naturaldogconference.com
PetSafe is donating hundreds of toys to homeless cats and dogs across the UK as part of its Christmas charity campaign, ‘Paws for Thought’.
Urging retailers up and down the country to encourage their customers to get involved, the pet product expert is asking people to nominate their preferred animal shelter or charity via the company’s Facebook and Twitter page throughout November and December. Each week a shelter will be chosen by a prize draw and a hamper full of PetSafe toys will be delivered to them before Christmas.
Launching the campaign at Manchester Dogs Home by donating various products, PetSafe hopes the campaign will raise the profiles of the shelters and encourage pet owners to find out more about how they can help their local rescue centre.
International Marketing Director at PetSafe® Angela Critchley, said: “With so many homeless pets in the UK we wanted to launch a Christmas initiative which would help raise awareness. We’re inviting customers and retailers to get involved and raise the profile of any animal shelter or charity which they feel makes a difference. They do amazing work and we are proud to support them.”
To nominate a shelter of your choice tweet @PetSafeUK or go to www.facebook.com/petsafeuk
Ceva Animal Health, maker of ADAPTIL, has joined forces with Hope Rescue, an inspirational dog rescue charity, to launch a ‘Happy Homes’ initiative.
The initiative will see Ceva donate dog beds, ADAPTIL collars, toys, blankets, LOGIC EaseFlex joint care, LOGIC®Oral Hygiene Gel, Fiprospot flea and Cestem worming treatments to ensure that dogs in the care of Hope Rescue are prepared and ready for their foster family.
It is hoped that the donated products will also enable dogs to easily adapt and settle into their new environments and eventually, in the long-term, their new forever homes.
The ‘Happy Homes’ Initiative follows Hope Rescue winning the charity team of the year award at the Ceva Welfare Awards in 2014 and the charity subsequently being nominated as Ceva’s charity of the year for 2015, which has seen the company raise more than £2,000 for Hope Rescue.
“Hope Rescue is an inspirational charity that helps rescue and support dogs in their transition from being homeless to staying with a foster family and settling into a long-term forever home,” comments Micky Blackburn, key account marketing at Ceva Animal Health.
“We hope that our donation will help the dogs quickly adapt and settle into their new ‘Happy Homes’ whether fostered or forever. ADAPTIL Collars are used by some of the largest UK charities to help support dogs during the first few weeks in a new environment.”
Hope Rescue aims to rescue dogs from emergency situations, such as stray dogs facing destruction after spending their statutory seven days in the pound. The charity commits to take all the stray dogs from three local authorities in South Wales – Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Torfaen County Borough Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council - irrespective of breed, age or medical condition. Its ethos is that ‘no-one gets left behind and every dog gets a chance’. The charity also takes in dogs from the public as and when it has capacity.
Hope Rescue does not have its own rescue centre - it has a great network of fosterers who work hard to give dogs a loving environment. Here dogs can learn and adjust to family life before finding their loving forever home. If Hope cannot secure a rescue space or foster home for its dogs then it uses boarding kennel facilities in South Wales.
For further information visit Facebook.com/AdaptilForDogs or HopeRescue.co.uk.
Leading UK aquatics manufacturer, King British, has launched its new website, and to mark the occasion is giving away products in a Christmas Advent Competition.
Designed with the King British customer in mind, the site offers useful product information on the company's entire range, including product benefits, videos and reviews.
The website also features top tips and advice on caring for fish, making it essential reading, especially for those new to fishkeeping.
Sue Huggett, King British Business Manager, said: "We've added some great new features to the website to help make fishkeeping a little easier for King British customers. For example, you can visit our 'Popular Fish Species Profile' section to find out more about each species and how best to care for them, as well as find an online retailer or local aquatics store to purchase your favourite King British products.”
To cater for the mobile audience, the website has not only been designed to look great on desktop computers but mobile devices too, meaning users can browse the site on tablets and mobiles at their leisure.
Experienced fishkeeper Carla Evans gave her first impressions of the new website: "The website looks lovely and is really easy to navigate to the different sections. I love the idea of the water change reminder alert as it gives fish keepers like myself help when the next aquarium water change is due."
King British is giving away products in its Christmas Advent Competition.
For more information visit www.kingbritish.co.uk
A former Pets at Home manager has been jailed after encouraging young girls on the internet to perform sex acts involving their pet dogs.
Brian John Moore held his head in his hands and wept as details of his crimes were read out at Mold Crown Court.The court heard how he had been prowling the internet and making contact with girls as young as 12, inciting them to indulge him between 2008 and 2014.
Indecent images of children had been found on his computer, but the examination of the machine showed he had “sunk to greater depths of depravity”, engaging in “very explicit conversations with young girls aged about 12”.
Moore, 48, formerly of Connah’s Quay, claimed it was “fantasy chat” and “faceless fiction”.
Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said when officers arrived at his then home, Moore became very distressed and made gradual admissions over three interviews.
It became clear he had used search terms which showed an interest in young girls, and the chat logs showed how he incited young children to indulge in sex acts.
Moore, now of Aldford Road, Upton, Chester, was said by defending barrister Gareth Roberts to be thoroughly ashamed and contrite. He said his client sat in the dock a “thoroughly broken man”.
Mr Roberts said Moore appreciated what he had done was completely wrong and had a devastating effect on the people he loved, and more importantly on the young women whose lives had been affected by his behaviour.
For most of his life he had been a law abiding and productive man, said Mr Roberts. He had been married 22 years, had a young daughter, and had for 19 years been manager of a Pets at Home store where he was well liked and respected.
He lost that job and for the last 11 months had been a litter picker until details of the offences he had admitted got into the public domain and he lost that job as well.
His problems began in 2008 when he started to access lawful pornography. It then extended to illegal child images before he started to engage with children in the way described.
Moore sat with his head in his hands in the dock throughout the sentencing hearing and cried for most of the time.
Judge Geraint Walters told him: “No child should ever be exposed to such vulgar exchanges.
“It is, quite frankly, hard to imagine a more depraved thing to do to someone so young. They will not forget.”
He was sentenced to 32 months, ordered to sign the sex offender register indefinitely, and was made the subject of a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.
A Nottinghamshire pet food company has been sentenced after a worker was seriously injured when a forklift truck he was driving overturned.
The teenager was employed by Alpha Feeds Limited, which has now changed its name to Grove Pet Foods Limited, as a factory operative at the company’s Grove Road, Retford site.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting, told Mansfield Magistrates’ Court that on 30 July 2014 the young worker was operating a forklift truck but it began to overturn, and as he jumped clear, the truck fell onto him. He sustained serious lower limb injuries including compound fractures in both legs, vascular and nerve damage and a crushed left heel.
The injured worker was 18-years-old at the time of the incident and had been working at the company as a factory operative for just two weeks. HSE’s investigation found that although he had been allowed to operate the lift truck under supervision, he had received no formal training in its safe use and was able to operate the vehicle as a set of keys had been left in it.
HSE told the court the company’s system to control keys to access lift trucks was not effective, since operators regularly left keys in the lift truck, and operated them using those keys. Had the keys only been available to trained, authorised operators, then the injured worker would not have been able to operate the lift truck. HSE found it was common practice for seatbelts not to be worn.
Grove Pet Foods Limited (previously known as Alpha Feeds Limited) of Grove Road, South Leverton, Retford, Nottinghamshire admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,332.
The Pet Industry Federation has partnered up with Intelligent Retail to give members exclusive discounts on tailored EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) Systems, adding to their range of business affinity packages to help pet businesses grow and succeed.
The new member benefit, launched at PIF’s Forum in Liverpool, allows retailers to more affordably access Intelligent Retail’s award winning EPoS systems and track stock within their shops. The system contains powerful features including; management of special orders, deposits and back orders, allowing retailers to have to more effectively and efficiently manage their stock control.
Intelligent Retail offers Epos systems, multichannel solutions, e-commerce website design and online marketing help. PIF members will receive exclusive offers on their services.
Managing Director of Intelligent Retail, David Mackley, said: “Through our partnership with PIF, Intelligent Retail is proud to offer exclusive member benefits to the pet industry. Having been involved in this sector for many years and having met many pet retailers though our seminars and activities at shows like PATS it’s great to provide a more affordable solution to help shop owners stand up to the challenges of multichannel retailing today.”
Pet Industry Federation Chief Executive, Nigel Baker, said: “It is excellent to be able to add another great member benefit to our growing range of exclusive products and services. These EPoS systems are a professional and time-saving way for retailers to manage their stock and sales.”
To access these exclusive discounts or become a PIF member, contact the customer service team on 01234 273933 or visit the website www.petfederation.co.uk
Vet charity PDSA is calling for more cat owners to get their pets neutered to protect them from a killer disease.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus - FIV, similar to the HIV virus in humans, has no cure but is easily prevented. Ahead of World Aids Day tomorrow (December 1), PDSA has revealed that nearly 900,000 cats* in the UK are not neutered, meaning they have a much greater risk of contracting the deadly disease.
Many owners remain unaware of the FIV virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as HIV, and can lead to the breakdown of a cat’s immune system. Like HIV, cats with FIV can live for long periods where they appear healthy and show no signs of illness, but euthanasia is often necessary towards the later stages of the disease. . FIV poses no risk to human health.
With no vaccine available, neutering cats is the best way to protect them as it reduces the chances of them coming into conflict with each other – the primary cause of the virus spreading.
PDSA Vet, Vicki Larkham-Jones, explained that FIV was primarily transmitted by biting, meaning that unneutered male cats have the highest risk of contracting it.
Vicki said: “FIV belongs to the same group of viruses as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and in much the same way as HIV, it depletes the number of white blood cells, meaning they are more prone to infection.
“The virus lives in the blood and saliva of infected cats but, like HIV, it cannot survive long outside the body, so direct contact is usually necessary to spread the virus.
“Once a cat contracts FIV there is no cure, so the best way to protect them is neutering. Thanks to funding support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’ll be delivering 30,000 neutering operations this year and educating pet owners about the benefits.
“The procedure is relatively simple and the many health benefits far outweigh the small cost to protect your cat’s long-term health.”
If a cat is diagnosed with FIV it is vital for owners to take steps to protect their pet and prevent the risk of them spreading the disease to other cats.
Vicki continued: “It is vital that an FIV-infected cat is neutered. They also need to be kept indoors to avoid contact with other cats.
“If you have other cats in the household they may also be infected. However, the risk of passing the virus is very low unless they fight. We also recommend feeding an FIV positive cat from a separate food bowl, as saliva can spread the virus.”
Though potentially fatal, thousands of cats live with the condition, and with good veterinary care and support from their owners, most enjoy a good quality of life for many years.
Vicki added: “It is important for owners to remember that FIV poses no risk to their own health, as humans and other species can’t catch it.”
Twelve-year-old cat Sid, from Brighton, has FIV and was adopted by Julie Southwick (33) and her family seven years ago.
The ginger cat has enjoyed relatively good health in that time, although he suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections and was recently treated by PDSA’s Brighton Pet Hospital for a severe mouth infection.
PDSA Senior Vet, Alice Duvernois, said: “Sid was brought to us with an infection in his gums, which is something we often see in cats suffering from FIV. After examining him, he underwent a dental procedure to remove a few of his teeth. His infection was treated with antibiotics and painkillers, and he’s now made a full recovery.”
Mother-of-three Julie said she had adopted Sid as she believes many people are unwilling to give cat’s suffering with FIV a home.
She said: “Sid was taken into a rescue centre after he was injured in a road traffic accident. While he was there he was diagnosed with FIV.
“He’s such a gorgeous cat but he’s been through the wars and you can tell he was a fighter from his battle scars.
“We decided to take on Sid as these cats unfairly often get overlooked or ignored. I think a lot of it is misunderstanding and some people mistakenly think they are going to somehow contract HIV from their cat.”
Sid is now neutered and Julie is careful to prevent him passing the disease on to other cats.
She said: “We live in a bungalow so it isn’t a problem that Sid has to be an indoor cat. He is great with the kids, we just have to be careful that no one accidentally leaves any doors open. In the summer we do take him outside on a lead so he can enjoy the warm weather but still be safe.
“Sid’s been to PDSA a few times over the years when he’s been ill. I can’t thank them enough for the care they have given him.”
Commenting on initial sales on Black Friday, Andrew Bucher, Founder and Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal, the leading online pet retail and healthcare supplier with more than 4 million customers, said:
“So far today we have seen a 300% increase in sales compared to a typical Friday. Consumers still seem to be strongly motivated by Black Friday.
“While Black Friday may be portrayed as a time when consumers spend on items they don’t necessarily need, we’re seeing our customers taking advantage of offers to buy the things they would usually to look after their pets.
"While our business is normally not very seasonal, due to the fact that we sell all the foods, medicines and accessories that pet owners use regularly, we are always impressed when an event such as Black Friday results in multiples higher revenue.”
Long Paws, the London-based pet accessory brand, has been expanding its reach northwards.
Lauren Bentley joined the company in November and will be based in the Manchester/Peak District area.
She is the proud owner of Quincy, a three-year-old Swiss Shepherd, who sometimes goes along with her on her travels.
Lauren and Quincy can be found walking in the Peak District on most weekends.
If you would like to meet with Lauren or arrange for her to visit your store, contact her on 07484 049 899 or email@example.com.
Forthglade, the Devon based natural pet food company, has announced Guide Dogs as its leading charity for 2016, with the launch of a Name a Puppy campaign commencing in January.
The firm aims to raise funds for the much-loved UK charity with the introduction of a Just Giving page on its website as well as fundraising activities next year promoted across social media, online campaigns and potentially an on-pack initiative.
Gerard Lovell, Joint MD at Forthglade said: “We’re contacted by many charities each week and although we hope to still support other great causes, we felt more funds could be raised if we focused our attention on one leading charity.
"People across the UK have a great affinity with Guide Dogs and the effects that these highly trained animals have on people’s lives.
"Guide dogs offer an incredible support line and are so loving and loyal with it. When we heard about Guide Dogs’ Name a Puppy’ initiative we just had to get involved. We’re really looking forward to working with the Guide Dogs charity."
Victoria Noyce-Guthrie, from Guide Dogs, said: “‘We’re so pleased to have Forthglade’s support. By supporting our Naming a Puppy scheme and promoting us as their official Charity of the Year, Forthglade can really help us raise funds.
“It costs approximately £50,000 to support a Guide Dog partnership from the birth of the pup to its retirement, aged about 10. We do not receive any Government funding for this service so without the generosity of donations, we wouldn’t be able to support the Guide Dog partnerships in the UK, which is currently just under 5000.”
Guide Dogs promises to supply every guide dog owner with a dog for as long as they need one. Some people may need six or seven dogs in their lifetime.
For more information on how you can help, visit https://forthglade.com/forthglade-supporting-guide-dogs/
Almost half of small and medium sized businesses have been forced to urgently borrow money in order to cover basic monthly costs such as wages.
IGF Invoice Finance, who conducted the research, is urging SMEs to seek financial guidance and prepare in advance of the Christmas period, when these essential outgoings peak.
Across all industries, Christmas can bring great opportunity with boosts in sales, increased consumer appetite and preparations for the New Year. However, these often come with the requirement to increase staff headcount, purchase higher volumes of stock and prepare for a reduction in the number of working days. These factors will all lead to a disruption in business and potential strains on cashflow.
Tracy Ewen, managing director at IGF, warns: “Outgoings such as wages are essential to any business and a cost that must be met. This research highlights the struggle that some companies have even during times of ‘business as usual’. In the winter season we see many businesses experience an increase in these costs and a reduction in the efficiency of managing their income.”
SMEs can find themselves in treacherous waters without reliable sources of working capital over Christmas because many senior staff responsible for approving supplier payments take holiday during the period. To counter these festive challenges, small businesses need to ensure that they reach out to sources of free advice well in advance in order to fully prepare for the season of late payments.
Ewen continues: “This year, the Bank Holidays around Christmas further reduce our working days, so we are imploring SMEs to avoid the difficulties of the season. By seeking advice in to the options available, short-term and unsustainable forms of borrowing can be avoided in place of practical and reliable solutions; enabling everyone to enjoy the festivities.”
Canterbury's Lord Mayor will cut the red ribbon tomorrow (Friday) for the opening of a new Pets at Home store.
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Sally Waters and her escort, Mr Robert Waters will officiate the opening of the new store which will open its doors at 9.30am.
The new store will open in the former Comet premises in Sturry Road.
Pet lovers in Canterbury will get the chance to see the Vets4Pets practice and the Groom Room at the opening of the store.
The Vets4Pets practice will house a full operating theatre, digital X-ray facilities, in-house laboratory and a hospital ward providing a full range of treatments from health checks to emergency operations.
The Groom Room will offer a wide range of services including full grooming, bath and blow dry, puppy grooming and nail clipping, which are all important to a pet's health and well-being.
The retailer has invested more than £400,000 in the new store opening.
Meanwhile, another new Pets At Home store is now open for business at the new Technology Retail Park in Rugby.
Developed by regeneration specialist, St Modwen, the retail park forms part of the £70million mixed use redevelopment of the former Alstom site.
Peter Rudd, senior development surveyor at St. Modwen, said: “Technology Retail Park really complements the rest of our Rugby regeneration scheme, which is a true mixed use development that includes a college, housing and employment.
“We only conceived the idea for the retail park in 2013, so to have planned, developed and sold it within two years is a real achievement for St. Modwen and the team.”
A spokesperson for Pets at Home said: “We’ve been looking forward to coming back to Rugby for a long time and are thrilled to occupy a purpose-built store at the Technology Drive Retail Park.
“With the addition of a larger customer offer, Groom Room and Vets4Pets practice, we have also been able to recruit more colleagues from the local community.
“So far our new Rugby store is surpassing all expectations and we look forward to welcoming even more pet owners to the store.”
Almost 3 million working days are lost each year to care for sick children.
Research conducted by PushDoctor.co.uk, Europe’s leading on-demand video GP appointment service, found that parents lose on average 3 hours per month taking children to medical appointments or staying off work to look after a sick child.
- A third of parents (34%) said they had taken three or more days off to look after an ill child in the past year.
- 67% of parents admitted taking a day off work to look after an ill child in the last 12 months.
- 59% of parents struggled to make last minute childcare arrangements when an illness occurred, whilst 36% percent of parents confessed to roping in a family friend or relative to look after their child at late notice.
- Worryingly, almost one in three (28%) of those surveyed said they felt uncomfortable taking time off work to look after a child, or take them to appointments, despite employees being legally allowed time off to care for a dependent.
- Respondents stated workload pressures (57%), and presenteeism (31%), the need to be seen working and present at work, as the main reasons for feeling uneasy about leaving work to care for their youngster.
Although there are no set limits on how much time a carer can take off work, employers can ask their employee to take annual leave or unpaid parental leave for extended periods of care.
Research revealed the burden still falls on women (72%) were most likely to take time off work to look after ill offspring.
Eren Ozagir, CEO and founder at PushDoctor.co.uk, said: “Concerned parents often lose a proportion of their working week trying to meet inconvenient daytime doctor’s appointments, or taking time off to look after them. The last thing parents need when a child falls ill is the worry and stress of work commitments and keeping up appearances.
“Using technology to manage your health and conduct doctor’s appointments can reduce the amount of time they need to take out of their working schedule whilst also reducing the pressures in seasonal illness peaks can put on doctor’s surgeries. Determining the seriousness of the initial illness will provide parental peace of mind and empower them with the knowledge that they do really need to take time off to look after their children.”
Residents in Yorkshire (78%) and Derbyshire (73%) topped the list of regions most likely to take time off work to care for a dependent, as rural areas suffer from reduced primary care coverage and limited transport options.
Meanwhile those in Greater Manchester (47%) and Newcastle (49%) are least likely to take time off work.
For more information and to book an online consultation with a Push Doctor GP, visit www.PushDoctor.co.uk or visit the App Store.
Job Title: Head of Sales
Job Category: Experienced
Job Code: DR/Nov15
Location: Hurley, near Maidenhead
Travel: As required
Level/Salary Range: £40,000 + OTE (up to £60,000)
Position Type: Full-time
Will Train Applicant(s): Yes
Posting Expires: When filled
Applications Accepted By:
E-mail but tentative enquiries and questions welcome by telephone: 01628822243
Subject Line: Head of Sales
Attention: Carina Evans
We exist to aid the responsibility & fulfil the joy that pets bring to pet parents by bringing to market unique, innovative & where possible natural products, solutions & services. Our values underpin our motivation and our empowered & engaged team provide excellent customer care and frictionless service as we manufacture market, distribute & sell pet products worldwide.
Role and Objectives:
Head of Sales working alongside the managing director with the responsibility to grow revenue from a designated set of key accounts and developing new business opportunities.
- Management of dedicated accounts with account development proposals & guidelines
- Management of assigned key accounts
- Development of business within assigned accounts, the general customer base and through identified and agreed opportunities
The role is office based and required travel to customer premises and trade fairs
Budgeting & Reviews:
- Preparing sales budgets and forecasts
- Identifying gap closing actions
- Identifying business opportunities
- Management of designated key accounts and development of account development plans
- Preparation of promotional campaigns
- Liaising with marketing to ensure that sales and customer collateral are available in a timely manner (copy, photographs, images etc.)
- Prepare, produce and implement sales strategies, promotions & rep incentive plans
- Attend trade shows in the UK, USA & Canada
- Liaising with sales administration and logistics to ensure timely and accurate delivery of customer orders
- Resolving customer issues, problems or concerns
- Ensuring that cash is received within payment terms
- Work with Marketing & PR Manager to manage, maintain and improve the sales routes to market, using them to increase brand awareness across our territories and monitor any competitor activity – always being understanding of and one step ahead of competition.
- Work with the MD to coordinate budget preparations
- Provide management information (pipeline metrics, KPIs etc.) for review & analysis
- Appraise monthly the performance of within account base & a revised forecast
- Reporting weekly metrics and KPIs.
- Monitoring invoicing and accounts receivable
- Recording of travel and expenses
- Maintaining accurate customer records.
- Delivery of revenue growth and targeted GP
- Timely preparation of budgets and forecasts
- Communication of customer requirements and expectations
- Development and timely reporting of key performance indicators and pipeline activity e.g. Customer based net promoter score.
A leader through influence with specialism expertise required to support the company’s ambitious growth targets:
- Excellent interpersonal and influencing skills
- Strong business and commercial acumen.
- Proven sales experience and analytic capabilities
- Strong negotiation skills
- Strong project management skills
- Ability to deliver against tight deadlines
- Competent in MS Office software packages incl. excel and PowerPoint.
Company Values: Able to demonstrate a good fit with the company values
Skills Qualifications Required:
- Honesty, integrity and respect
- Speed of thought
- Sparky and energetic
- Problem solving / solution finding
- Always learning & remaining aware of & 1 step ahead of the competition
- Strong work ethic – work hard / play hard.
The successful candidate will:
- Be technically savvy with strong experience in the Microsoft Office software packages including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook as a basic requirement with experience in other software packages such as Sales Force, Infusionsoft, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign as a bonus.
- Good written & spoken communication skills in the English language
- Have a full UK driving license.
- Have a passport & be able & willing to travel internationally
- Have experience of Sales
- A good understanding of a second language would be an advantage.
Reports to: MD
Manager of: No direct reports.
- MD, H.O Marketing and Marketing assistant, Sales & Administration assistant
- Assigned customers.