General Election 2015

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Here at Animal Friends we know that your pets mean the world to you. So much so, in fact, that 71% of you said that animal welfare issues will affect the way you vote in the election tomorrow.

However, of those we surveyed, 59% said that they don’t know which party has the best animal welfare policy. With this in mind, we have put together a series of guides to the main parties’ animal welfare stances on issues such as the Dangerous Dogs Act, animal abuse legislation and the Hunting Act.

For those of us with pets it’s only natural to take them into consideration when casting our votes tomorrow, after all they can’t vote themselves! So, if you want to vote with your animal friends in mind, why not take a look at the handy guides below? Click the links for the full PDF.

Will you be taking animal welfare into consideration when you vote tomorrow? Who do you think has the best animal welfare policy? Why not let us know on Facebook or Twitter?

The Conservative Party

The Labour Party

The Liberal Democrat Party

The Green Party

The UK Independence Party

The Scottish National Party

Dog Breed Quiz: Do You Know Your Maltese from Your Bichon Frise?

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Dogs are amazing. They are cute, loyal, intelligent companions that fully deserve the title of ‘man’s best friend’. It’s safe to say that at Animal Friends we are very passionate about dogs and we know you are too. We love and cherish our dogs and they keep us company through thick and thin. Though we have to admit, going for walks when it’s raining isn’t something we look forward to!

There are thousands of dog breeds out there, each with different personalities, looks and temperaments. But do you know your Alsatians from your Pomeranians? Our little quiz will find out…

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CAN Your Dog Give You Salmonella?

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This week, a piece in the Daily Mail warned pet owners to be careful as their beloved companions could be carrying a whole host of diseases. With the headline “Beware of the dog… he may give you salmonella” the article refers to research claiming that pet-borne infections pose a risk to vulnerable people. The piece also reminds us of a case last year where four people contracted forms of TB from their cats. (more…)

National Pet Month 2015

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April marks National Pet Month 2015 in the UK, and this year’s theme is ‘Pets and the elderly: enjoying later years together’. This aims to shine a light on the manifold benefits of pet ownership in our twilight years and the positive impact a furry friend can have on our mental and physical wellbeing.

Those of us who have enjoyed the company of a senior pet know the comfort and joy the mere presence of an animal can bring. Studies have even shown that owners experience less alteration to their resting heart rate and blood pressure at times of stress when their pet is present. Maintaining good blood pressure levels is a crucial factor in preventing cardiovascular problems.

A pet also encourages activity by providing opportunity and motivation to stay mobile. For elderly people living in remote areas, or who are socially isolated, having a dog or cat can give them a companion to share their days with. There are various modes of play that remain engaging throughout a pet’s lifetime and are still accessible to people whose mobility is decreasing.

It’s also worth taking into consideration the psychological benefits of pet ownership for elderly people. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest having a pet that depends on you for survival gives an owner something to live for. Having pet-related tasks to complete on a daily basis can provide structure and routine, as well as preventing boredom.

Many owners grow old with their pets but for some, later-life pet adoption is a suitable option. Senior dogs and cats often miss out on finding new homes because they lack the “cute” factor of puppies and kittens, or because prospective owners are looking for a younger pet who they can treat as a blank slate. The truth is that many senior pets are in shelters through no fault of their own, as their previous owners’ “change of circumstances” have rendered them homeless. Adopting an older pet can give an elderly person the animal companionship they crave without the associated graft of house training a puppy or kitten.

If full-time adoption isn’t a practical solution there are many shelters and rehoming charities that look for fosterers both on a long and short-term basis. This ensures that the pet will eventually make its way to a forever home, but gives temporary caregivers an opportunity to get involved in the care of a dog or cat without having to take lifelong responsibility for them.

There is nothing quite like the quiet companionship of a pet. It warms the heart when a feline curls up on your lap or a dog sits at your feet, and having a furry friend can be the difference between feeling isolated and lonely or feeling fulfilled and content.

Special Announcement!

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Here at Animal Friends we are always keen to get behind the latest advances in pet care. We’re dedicated to keeping your pets safe and protecting them throughout their lives with our multi-award winning policies, but we wanted to do something more. So, without further ado, we’re delighted to announce our most recent collaborative innovation: the Furtection™ Jacket for dogs and cats!

The Furtection™ collection has been expertly designed to protect your furry friends from anything life throws at them. They are fireproof, windproof, SPF optimised and, not only are they waterproof but they have a motorised flotation function which will be automatically deployed should your pet find themselves immersed in a body of water! Each standard issue Furtection™ jacket also features a poo bag dispenser, so you’ll never be caught short.

As well as these standard functions you can choose from a vast range of add-ons and extras, like a built-in allergen protection bubble which will automatically inflate whenever the integral chemoreceptors in the fabric detect allergens in the air! Other optional bolt-ons include intuitive temperature control, detachable parasol/umbrella, Wi-Fi and a cup holder*.

The Furtection™ Dog collection goes from size “Chihuahua Puppy” all the way to “Zeus the Great Dane” (which comes with a complimentary saddle attachment). The Furtection™ cat range comes in size “Cat”.

Every Furtection™ jacket is made of Fairtrade cotton and all its components are ethically crafted from recycled Spitfire parts, so you know you’re protecting your pet and the environment too! The jackets are available in a range of colours including black, pink, orange and lime green. For the more intrepid wearer there is also our world-first “Invisibilipet” jacket with chromatic nanofibres which change colour to match their surroundings.**

There are also plans to introduce Furtection™ boots, hats and tail-guards in Spring 2016 so your pet can be totally Furtected™!

*Cup sold separately.

**The jacket only covers their torso, so you’ll still be able to see their legs, heads and tails.

National Puppy Day: Wendy and Hugo

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To celebrate National Puppy Day, we asked staff member Wendy all about her brand new puppy Hugo, a beautiful Husky and Pointer cross. He was collected from Dogs Trust just over a week ago, and has been settling into his new home with Wendy and her family very well by amusing them with his mischievous antics, and demonstrating how loving he is. (more…)

National Puppy Day

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Today is National Puppy Day so to celebrate, here are some interesting facts you may not know about puppies: (more…)

Red Nose Day 2015

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As today is Red Nose Day we’re getting into the spirit of things here at Animal Friends. We held a number of competitions to be “funny for money” and raise some sorely-needed funds for Comic Relief and the incredible work they do. (more…)

British Hen Welfare Trust

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This year, British Hen Welfare Trust celebrates their tenth year. The charity has been finding homes for retired commercial laying hens since 2005, saving them from slaughter and rehoming them to loving families. The charity was involved in the Animal Friends Facebook competition last year, so we caught up with them to find out where the money went, and what they have up their sleeves for 2015. (more…)

Animal Friends is a ‘Company to Inspire Britain’

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For the past two years the London Stock Exchange has published a report named ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ which celebrates the most dynamic, innovative and fastest-growing small and mid-sized UK companies. We are delighted to report than Animal Friends was named as one of them. (more…)