Tag Archives: Health

The issue of Dogs in Hot Vehicles gets heated

Summer is officially here! Year after year, many dog owners and lovers including myself raise awareness of the dangers of leaving your dog in vehicles. Who could argue with this? You’d be surprised, this week I have been looking at this thorny issue.

To the majority (I hope) of dog owners this concept is relatively simple and clear. Horror stories are often circulated on social media and other outlets of the dangers of leaving animals in vehicles and in my opinion it’s one that needs to be continuously amplified across the world.

All of this can happen over in just over a few minutes and the worst of it is that it can be so easily prevented.

As you can imagine, The Kennel Club makes it’s stance very clear. In every Kennel Club licensed show there should be no dogs in hot vehicles. This is to be expected as well as campaigning and raising awareness like any dog organisation would.

But at the same time many dog exhibitors at shows ignore and argue with this concept. This left me very surprised and intrigued as to why?

Many exhibitors have customised vehicles for transporting dogs, many of which have the state-of-the-art air conditioning and climate control ensuring the dogs are always kept cool and secure inside. You can easily see that the welfare of their dogs are paramount to them. They also argue that the dogs are in a better condition inside the vehicle than under a tent in hot weather which is understandable. Why should they be penalised for the actions of the few irresponsible owners?

Hot dogs in cars
Having the window down a few inches may seem acceptable to some…

But this is where I differ; how can we uphold a very important rule if there are exceptions to certain individuals? We can certainly judge every exhibitors vehicle and conclude if the vehicle is safe or not but who is to say other exhibitors will see this and think their heated vehicle with their windows down a couple of inches is also acceptable? Where do we draw the line?

It’s a catch 22 situation we have here and it has left me thinking. Many senior exhibitors and judges alike are concerned they are being ‘tarred with the same brush’ as the irresponsible owners. Unfortunately, they are missing the point completely, the issue we have here is that if we uphold a rule we cannot give exemptions for certain individuals.

So lets turn the coin and imagine if there are no rules for dogs in hot cars. People would be ultimately responsible for their dogs wellbeing which, in itself is not a bad thing. If a dog tragically dies however at a dog show the first question above all else would be ‘Could this have been prevented?’ As I’ve stated above, yes absolutely. Do we as dog lovers and professionals want to uphold a good example for the general public? Yes absolutely. Above all else, the welfare of the dog is paramount and as dog lovers and professionals we must set an example towards the general public.

The issue we need to focus on now is to ensure that every show, especially in the summer, must have measures to monitor this. Patrolling vehicles, having decent not-for-competition tents that are well ventilated and monitored and reporting offenders to the appropriate authorities is the way to go forward.

Many will think these measures are unnecessary and over-the-top but if this saves just one dog a year – isn’t it worth it?

Children Growing Up With Dogs

I often reflect at my childhood and only wonder what important lessons I’ve learned over the years.  If there had to be one consistency, it was that wherever I was – a dog was never far away.

Mark
I clearly found the toy much more interesting!

You never had to be too young, too old, too rich and too poor to appreciate and take advantage of a dog in the household. Every single child I have met that has grown up with dogs have all said the same thing to me – they absolutely love it.

No surprise when you come to think of it, no language is needed, only unconditional love and companionship and quite naturally as children we have plenty to give out!

Reflecting back, I personally learned so many important life lessons from having a dog around the house, lessons that have consistently echoed to this present day. Here are some examples;

Continue reading Children Growing Up With Dogs

Dog Food: Dry Kibble or Raw? (Part 1: Pros & Cons)

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Photo Credit: S&S Productions

The past few years I’ve been doing a fair bit of research into dog food, learning about proteins and essential nutrients and it’s a topic I didn’t want to write about until I could get facts and opinions from both sides of the ‘debate’. That is, to feed raw or not to feed raw?

I understand this is a very controversial subject many dog owners are rather passionate about, some on the other hand may never have heard of raw diets at all. I’m not looking for a concrete answer but I’m genuinely interested to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter because part 2 of this feature will include a poll and discussion page so everybody can have their say.

Before I go into my thoughts on the matter, I’ll briefly go through some of the pros and cons of raw and kibble  along with some interesting statements. These points are based on the testimonies of four people with different material interests in different diets as well as things which I was taught during my apprenticeship. However, this is NOT a scientific list and includes just a few opinions to get us started. As it stands, and as far as I’m aware, there is no conclusive scientific research. I would love to hear from anybody but particularly people who are trained in nutrition or who can present a relatively unbiased view!

At the bottom is a gallery of everyone’s submitted pictures of their dogs eating. I needed one for a featured picture and the response I got was overwhelming so I wanted to show everybody off!

Continue reading Dog Food: Dry Kibble or Raw? (Part 1: Pros & Cons)