Anna's Blog

  • Staycation with success this Summer.

    Staycationing is at its highest since 2019, with 65% of Britons’ opting to take their pooch on holiday this year. With over four million dogs acquired in the past four years, it’s no surprise that ‘dog friendly” is responsible for over 7,000 searches a month for holiday cottages and Airbnb’s. Dogs do not know you're going on holiday, so for those pooches arguably four years or younger their socialisation may not have been as good as for those dogs pre-pandemic.  An ability to accept new environments and settle is part of a successful holiday, as is being aware of what stresses your dog, being able to recall your dog from distractions. And being aware how easily and quickly dogs overheat so as to minimise any risk of heatstroke.  Always take familiar items like a dog blanket, toys and chews with you, and try and keep your dog's routine as familiar as possible! 

  • Could bone broth help a dog's microbiome?

     

    With so much talk on the Microbiome, it would be rude not to take an in depth look at this elusive area in our gut lining. It plays a critical role with 90% of our immune system residing there, and its role as the ‘second brain’ in influencing our cognition.

     I’ve chatted with Dr Carol Hughes in a mini-series on her research spanning almost two decades. Funded by the Welsh Government, her research began by investigating natural occurring plant-based steroids.

    Highlighting that you are what you eat, and how the gut communicates with our brains as well as the other organs in the body. We also explore how the microbiome responds to different hormones (or the lack of them), and how Carol can deduce if an animal has been spayed or neutered by the missing bacteria in the microbiome.

    The one 'food' that Carol recommends to help the microbiome restore is Bone Broth, which is why I'm involved in a ground-breaking study - the Broth: Biome study, which aims to answer the question: Could bone Broth help a dog's microbiome? Get involved - Find out how here 

  • Managing fleas naturally and being kind to the planet

    Fleas are pesky, nobody wants a flea infestation, but is a monthly spot-on treatment working to prevent fleas?  Such topical applications don’t prevent fleas from jumping on your pooch for a quick snack. Whilst one flea will only bite the once, in some ‘allergenic’ dogs just one bite from a flea can trigger an eruption of flea dermatitis. The mantra being to #TestBeforeYouTreat, which scientists at Imperial College London are urging British vets to adopt this approach. At least assess the risk to benefit of monthly application following shocking evidence that insecticides only used on pets are polluting British rivers. 

     

  • Hemp seed and Hemp seed oil – a powerhouse of health that’s good for the planet, bio-diversity and your dog!

    The good news is that both ground Hemp Seed and Hemp Seed oil are very nutritious for your dog in the right quantity. Hemp seed and its oil also boasts an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids at 3:1. It contains essential fatty acids that your dog can’t produce and needs to get through diet, not least being rich in the omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Interestingly recent research has proved that GLA is the founder of prostaglandins. These are hormones in your dog’s body that circulate to smooth muscle contractions, control inflammation, regulate the body temperature and perform other vital metabolic functions.

  • Sea vegetables help sustain ecosystems, boost the planet’s oxygen supply, could these ‘veggies’ be good for dogs?

    Sea vegetables help sustain ecosystems, boost the planet’s oxygen supply, could these ‘veggies’ be good for dogs? 

    Sea Vegetables are nutrient dense, in fact 10 times richer in minerals and vitamins than many of their earth-bound counterparts.

    Research is still only dipping its toe into the ocean of Sea Vegetables’ health potentials, but with many studies giving remarkable positive results, health professionals are considering it as a powerful super-food.

    What’s also interesting is that certain varieties of Seaweeds, like Dulse, which is found on the Atlantic coast of Britain, is shown to fight heavy metal accumulations in the body.

    Its compounds bind with mercury, lead, aluminium, copper, cadmium and nickel. Atlantic dulse goes into deep, hidden places of the digestive tract and gut, seeking out mercury, binding to it, and never releasing it until it leaves the body.

    Never let your dog eat seaweed on the beach! Seaweed found on the beach shrinks in the sun and can expand in your dog’s digestive system, potentially causing a severe blockage. It can also contain pollutants and other sea life potentially harmful. It can give your dog salt poisoning. Best to err on the side of caution and say NO to seaweed on the beach!

     

  • Music for dogs? What's the best genre?

    Ever wondered about the effects music can have on dogs? Just as for us, science concurs that certain tunes potentially are therapeutic to our pooches. Research proves that dogs given a varied playlist, emulating their heart beat in tempo with higher frequencies is best. Dogs hearing is four times more acute than ours and they hear high and low frequencies that we can’t. Hence dogs’ noise sensitivity to triggers like smoke alarms and fireworks. Interestingly Reggae scored highly in a study by Glasgow University in 2017. The aim to study the effect of genres of music on the stress levels of kennelled dogs. 

    Create a playlist that matches your dog’s heart beat and BPM range, understanding that all dogs are individuals with a higher of lower sensitivity to sound. As stress is contagious from humans to dogs, it’s important that any playlist is as much of a personal experience for you, not only for your dog.  

  • Could the FIDOS rival The Oscars – celebrating dogs in film.

    The FIDOS are held on the same Sunday as The Oscars, and this year were staged at the British Film Institute for the first time.

     The red carpet was packed with a sparkling attendance of film critics, journalists, personalities, actors along with canine celebrities and influencers.

     

    As Founder ,Cinema Journalist Toby Rose explained: “Our 2024 event raised the bark as it has been an extra special year because of the number of dogs in film from Barbie to Wonka to Napoleon. Plus, there’s been a trend of dogs starring alongside A listers, from Tilda Swinton to Will Ferrell to Mark Wahlberg.

     

    The judging panel couldn’t have been more ‘qualified’ to make the decisions on which dogs would be awarded the bespoke designed collars by independent designer Creature Clothes.

     

    An impressive judging panel included Kaleem Aftab, film writer and head of international programming for Red Sea Film Festival:  Peter Bradshaw, film critic for The Guardian; Rita Di Santo, FIPRESCI film critic; Wendy Mitchell, film journalist and author of Citizen Canine; Tim Robey, film critic for Daily Telegraph; Anna Smith, film critic, broadcaster and host of Girls On Film podcast; Joe Utichi, Executive Awards Editor at Deadline and Damon Wise, film Editor.

  • Could Green Lipped Mussel be the species appropriate superfood that’s set to put a spring in your dog’s step?

    One ingredient I am a massive fan of is Green Lipped Mussel (GLM) also known as Perna canaliculus, defined by its green edges on its shell.

    I’ve added GLM into my dogs’ diets since 2009, and the more I’ve read, the more I love it!

    Mr Binks my re-homed English Toy Terrier (now 12 years) began GLM the minute I got him home when he was 2 x years old.

    He suffers from a degenerative bone condition- Legg Calve Perthes Disease. His left hip joint was removed at nine months.

    I’m very pleased to say he’s still very mobile, playful and cheeky! This isn’t just down to his daily dose of GLM, but his species appropriate, ethically sourced, raw, balanced and complete diet.  Plus a variety of physical therapies including acupuncture, massage and red light therapy. 

  • And They called it 'Puppy Love'!

    According to Psychology Today, the human mind naturally creates the need for people to develop close relationships as a means for survival.

    This basic instinct is what drives people to develop close relationships – and those relationships extend to our furry friends. Unlike human relationships, which can be complex and fraught with expectations, our pets offer a simple, pure form of companionship.

    One of the primary reasons we become so emotionally attached to our pets is the unconditional love and acceptance they provide.

     

  • RUBY the Cockapoo a success story with an integrated wellness strategy

    How Ruby the Cockapoo benefitted from an integrated wellness makeover! Using the appropriate diet for her condition, along with supplements to re-balance her liver function,  Ruby benefitted from fresh whole ingredients , helping with her anxiety. Adding Photizo's Vetcare in the silent version, helped calm Ruby's noise sensitivity, and offer a means to deflect from her 'fly catching'. Adding behavioural therapy into the mix,  Ruby now almost seven is healthy, vibrant and doing well!!
  • Collette Cooper Returns

    Why are we still experimenting on animals? I’m discussing this with singer, actor and animal rights activist with Collette Cooper 

    Talking about why harsh training methods are outdated and wrong in line with the latest research on pandemic dog behaviours from The Royal Vet College 

    Highlighting the dreadful plight of Beagles being tortured in the name of ’science’, we talk about the imminent discussion in Parliament, urging people to sign the petition to help end this needless suffering and abject cruelty.

    We also chat about other Petitions, including #Canthekibble and the news of Pet Abduction becoming a separate criminal offence.

    We talk about health and training, and how Collette’s Parsons Jack Russell, Billy, benefits from eating a raw balanced and complete diet.

    And why keeping your home toxin free using natural cleaning products like those from Ingenious Probiotics

    Helping reduce any indoor stressors- as indoor environments are 3.5 times more polluted than outdoors!

    Tune in here: 

  • Could Walking Your Dog be the Best New Year's Resolution

    Despite great intentions, 80% of us give up on resolutions by the second Friday in January, its known as ‘quitters’ day’! Whether it’s to kickstart more healthy eating, lose some excess pounds, take up running, yoga or just practice mindfulness, it appears us human’s give up! 

    Dogs don’t make New Year resolutions. Dogs depend on us to make so many choices for them, from what they eat, whether they wear a collar or a harness, to where they sleep. What if we turn the tables and let our dogs inspire New Year resolutions?  

    I bet they'd say 'Walk Your Dog' is a good one to begin with!