In the last ten years there have been hundreds of campaigns for various animal welfare charities from all over the world, most notably organisations such as PETA and WWF which have access to huge marketing budgets. They are able to raise global protests and boycotts with an advert on the TV or newspaper. The landscape of campaigning is changing though, now smaller causes are able to gain huge support using social media platforms to gain followers and exposure. It raises the question though, is this new access to social media a great way to change the world or does it dilute the action of welfare charities with virtual chatter?
Compulsory Microchipping is fast approaching the UK; as of March 2015 it will be compulsory in Wales while England will have to wait until April 2016, but is microchipping a solution in itself? As usual the proposed legislation is vague, dull and drawn out and there are various things to consider.
As much as I advocate microchipping across all dogs in the UK, I’m always slightly cautious when the government finds a need to add legislation to ensure owners do the right thing. I personally see it as common sense, and I hope most owners also see this – perhaps some might not find this obvious thus the need for this?
As mentioned on my previous article on microchipping I would rather not tell owners that they will be fined £500 for not microchipping their dog, instead I would tell them that if they choose not to microchip their dog they are dramatically increasing the chances of losing them if they run away.
Above all this is a welfare issue and thousands of dogs across the UK and indeed the world have been reunited with their owners as a result of this.
What is a ‘microchip’ you might say? To many, it is often regarded as a GPS navigation system or a high-tech disk that monitors your dogs thoughts and feelings.
Quite simply, it’s a rice-grain sized identification tag that cannot be taken off. If someone has a scanner the details will come up in a database with the owners address and contact details. A quick phone call, email or visit and your dog is reunited with the owner. A textbook result.
Fitting a microchip onto your dog is the first step, other ‘chips’ to consider include;
Make sure you keep your contact details up to date online such as your full name, home address, telephone number and your email address. This can be easily done online or by your local vet.
When visiting your vet annually always make sure that they are able to detect the microchip with a simple scan. On rare occasions microchips can ‘migrate‘ to other parts of the body, this can cause problems identifying the dog if found by a local dog warden or vet.
Microchips can break or malfunction on rare occasions. If the vet cannot find a microchip on your dog, this could be a result it.
This may sound complicated to some but all of this can be solved by asking your local vet on your annual visit. Ask to check the details are up to date and the vet can scan your dog, in most cases they will do this for free and it literally takes less than 5 minutes to do if no problems are found.
Happy chipping and scanning dog owners!
I have some good news and some bad news this summer.
Good news? We are finally getting some summer sun and heat in the UK! (about time..)
Bad news? Every year rescue charities and the police receive thousands of distress calls about dogs being left in hot cars in the sun. Some end with devastating consequences.
It’s always a reoccurring problem we have in the UK and the worst part is that every single of those tragedies could have easily have been avoided.
Many forget that dogs have a different way of regulating their heat than humans and unfortunately overheat much more easier than us. Dogs regulate heat from sweating from their paws and panting. When you have a vehicle left in the sun with temperatures as low as 20 degrees Celsius temperatures can easily rise to over 50 degrees which is over half the rate of boiling water. As a result they can collapse and have heatstroke within minutes.
Unfortunately taking measures such as opening windows slightly, placing a water bowl inside is not sufficient enough as dogs have died before with those put in place. It might delay the process of dehydration but it will not delay the process of the dog getting heatstroke.
For those unfortunate enough to come across any dogs that are locked in a car in the heat be sure to contact the owner if applicable, call the police on 101 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and make sure you have plenty of fresh water and shade available. Do not attempt to break the car window without speaking the police first.
Most know that dogs do not ask a lot from us and the least we can do for them is to ensure that their safety is always a priority even if it means thinking before popping into the supermarket to buy a carton of milk.