Are Dog Parks the Answer?

Dog Park

I had to unfortunately visit the vets last week with one of my dogs (Archie) and as I was at reception there was a petition against having to have your dog on a lead in a town park. This shocked me as although I love my dogs to run off the lead there are certain areas I will keep my dogs on leads for their own safety. Archie’s best friend is a rescued Patterdale Terrier called Frank, he is a lovely dog with people but can be very dog-aggressive, especially with larger dogs.

We have worked hard to introduce Archie to Frank and they have now been firm friends for 6 years, but it is very stressful out walking when people let their dogs run up to Frank, shouting “don’t worry my dog is fine”. I then start shouting “this one isn’t” while my friend is doing her best to control Frank and quite often the other dog then leaps in to attack back. (more…)

Coping With Pet Euthanasia

dog and man sitting

I was sat at the vets the other day when I had another one of my thoughts, how many people know what to do if it comes to having their dog put to sleep. I have had 4 dogs and each of them have been lost in slightly different circumstances. Even though as pet owners we know that there will probably be a time when we will have to make the decision to have our cat or dog put-down (especially as the chance of them passing in their sleep is rare), it is still a very hard thing to come to terms with. (more…)

Super-Furry Animals [Infographic]

Super Furry Animals

Animals are amazing creatures and whilst they make great pets and companions, they are also heroes in their own right. This infographic from shows some of the bravest animals in all the land. From dolphins that fend off sharks to an elephant carrying a girl to safety from the 2004 tsunami, this brilliant piece highlights just how beautiful the other inhabitants of planet earth can be and why we should not only respect them, but admire and cherish each every one of them. You never know, one day you may need their help rather than the other way round. (more…)

Are Working-Type Dogs the New ‘Scrap Metal’?

dog sitting in a field

It’s been well documented that in recent years there has been a tremendous rise in the theft of working dog types. We were discussing the subject in the office and someone said to me it’s like these dogs are the new ‘scrap metal’ of a few years ago. We all laughed but the more I thought about the statement the more it made sense.

The website ‘Dog Lost’ reports that there were 3500 thefts of this type of dog in 2012. Criminals who are out to make a lot of money in a quick fashion have traditionally done so though scrap metal theft from any source possible to sell on. It was seen as easy pickings and was very difficult to prove and prosecute, it therefore required a lot of surveillance time which was very costly. The stealing of gun dogs seems to be carried out by such criminals with the same objective in mind; to sell the dogs on for a very high price. However, unlike scrap metal, dogs hold more than just financial value to their owners, meaning that families’ lives are being ruined by these thieves. (more…)

So Much Love, Not Enough Words [INFOGRAPHIC]


Valentine’s day is a time for celebrating the ones you love and who love you; who better to spoil and shower with attention than your pets? This infographic, entitled ‘So Much Love, Not Enough Words’ was inspired by you. 1,000 of our policyholders took part in a survey to form the heart-warming statistics found here whilst our over 100,000 strong Facebook page ‘Feel Good Park’ provided us with beautiful words to describe what their pet means to them.

Love is in the air and it’s all for our pets! (more…)

How Do We Know if Pets Are Overweight?

Border Terrier in grass

Today we have an excellent guest blog from Jo in our marketing department that poses the question; how do we know if our pets are overweight?

This weekend I took my nine year old border terrier to the vet’s for his annual MOT. While in there we started discussing his weight and I mentioned that I always watch what he eats and his exercise as I want him to be fit and healthy in his OAP years. I am very aware that just like people, dogs can quickly put on a few unwanted pounds, especially as they get older. Unfortunately it is currently estimated that 37% of cats and 35% of dogs are overweight.

Despite the amount of educational material out there my vet said that the number of dogs and cats they see that are overweight is still growing and most owners don’t even realise it. Overweight and obese dogs are much more likely to develop obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, respiratory conditions, arthritis, and even behavioural problems.  Border terriers have a life expectancy of approximately 15 plus years old and I think it is my responsibility to make sure I don’t do anything to his detriment that may affect this. (more…)

12 Pet Safe Tips of Christmas [INFOGRAPHIC]


The festive season is fast approaching and whilst it is a jolly time for all, it is important to watch out for potential dangers to pets. This infographic offers 12 pet safe tips to help keep your pets safe this Christmas as well the 6 ‘F’s; funky festive fun for furry friends.

Rehoming and Learning

Dog Family Photo

After completing our £1 million challenge we here at Animal Friends wanted to find out a bit more about pet owners and the charities/rehoming centres that we have helped. To this end we recently carried out a survey taking a look into what it means to be a pet owner in this day and age. Part of the survey took a look at how many people had adopted or rescued their companion. Adopting a pet can be a great way of bringing an animal into your home and is something that should at the very least be considered.

We have produced an info-graphic entitled ‘Starting a Life with Cats & Dogs’ that looks at these statistics in more detail but in summary we found that although 87.2% of people said that they would or had considered adopting a pet in the past; only 43% had actually done so. This led me to think about the factors involved and why some people don’t feel adopting a pet is right for them.


Starting a Life with Cats and Dogs [INFOGRAPHIC]

We recently carried out a survey taking a look into what it means to be a pet owner in this day and age. Part of the survey took a look at how many people had adopted or rescued their companion and found that although 87.2% of people said that they would or had considered adopting a pet in the past; only 43% had actually done so. (more…)

Canine Toilet-Training Options

Dog In A Crate

A topic that I have touched upon in the past but not explored fully is that of crate training a puppy. I have never crate trained a puppy and so I am curious, is it the best way, what does it actually help the puppy learn?

Crate training seems to be a very common practice for many owners these days with crates being sold in most pet supply shops. This kind of training is seen to provide dogs with a den-like space and teach them that this space is theirs for sleeping and relaxing in, the theory being that the pup will soon learn not to relieve itself in its own bed and personal space. (more…)