Pet theft awareness week – Are you Pet Theft Aware?

The theft of a pet is becoming increasing common and with incidents on the rise the best thing to do is arm yourself with the information needed to prevent this from happening to your beloved companion. Being more knowledgeable on the subject not only protects your own pet but by sharing this awareness also educates others, protecting more animals and discouraging thieves. This is why pet theft awareness week was created – to help share information with the aim to help pet owners become more informed of the issues surrounding the security of their pets.

The history of pet theft awareness week
Pet theft awareness week was set up by Arnot Wilson and Richard Jorden after social media was used on a large scale to help locate a missing dog. With no information provided by government or local authorities pet awareness week steps into provide information to pet owners regarding the safety of their animals. Working together with different organisations such as Viovet, The Dog Union, Vets Get Scanning and, they are a non-profit organisation and a member of the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance.

A wealth of resources aimed at keeping your pet safe
Pet awareness week takes place this week, and Gundog theft Awareness week takes place in October and has four main aims. Firstly the prevention of pet theft through awareness, this includes the use of social media, posters, case studies and downloadable resources to be displayed in settings with animals such as vets and riding stables. These resources are used to inform people on the dangers of thieves and ways to take care of their animals and the environment in which they live. It includes things to look out for and ways to prevent becoming a target and a victim of crime.

Pet awareness week also offers information to assist the victims of pet crime. They provide instructions on what to do if your animal is stolen, including who to inform, how to arrange searches and who to include. If offers guidance for using social media in the event of a theft and useful websites. It also campaigns for the reclassification of pet theft. The founders of pet theft awareness week want the law to recognise pets as ‘valued living possession’ and to enforce stricter laws surrounding thieves with custodial sentences to discourage thefts from taking place.

Pet awareness week not only wants to educate animal owners but reunite families with missing pets by campaigning to increase microchip scanning by making it compulsory and by participating in pet theft awareness week you’re not only arming yourself with the information needed to reduce pet theft but decreasing the risk in becoming targeted yourself. By sharing this information more people will become vigilant ensuing that more pets remain with their loving owners.

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Dental Disease in Dogs and Cats – Lift that Lip!!

This is a picture of the dogs teeth before the dental work

Mrs. Miggins (name has been changed to protect the innocent!!) is a loving pet owner, her 2 cats, Salt and Pepper and her dog Bruno (names have also been changed!) are regular visitors to the vets, but they do not need to come frequently. We see them only once a year for their annual health check and vaccination, although we had recommended that we see Bruno every 6 months due to his more advanced years, Mrs. Miggins takes great care in looking after her three darlings.


This picture was taken just 3 days after the dental work

Bringing all three of the little ones to the vets is quite a challenge and with Bruno pulling on the lead to get into the practice and the cats always a little unsure about why they are being taken to the vets, it is always an eventful visit. One afternoon, Mrs. Miggins had booked her three in for their annual check and she had told our client care staff that she had a few questions to ask about a pretty awful smell coming from Bruno. When Mrs. Miggins arrived, I went out to greet her and the problem was pretty obvious for all to smell! A wall of bad breath came to meet me just outside of the consult room. Sure enough, after conducting a full physical exam and giving Bruno a clean bill of health, I checked his mouth to find the cause of the problem. All of the teeth were covered in calculus, not a large amount, but significant nonetheless and smelly. Hi gums were very inflammed and sore and they had started to swell a little. I recommended that Bruno had a Professional Periodontal Treatment, which included a full examination of his mouth, full scale and polish of his teeth, including under the gum line and surgical removal of any teeth which were too damaged and painful to ever make comfortable. In the end, this turned out to only be one tooth, which was too loose to save and he must of felt a lot better without it. The treatment was done under anaesthetic as Bruno was very good, but certainly would not have stayed still when we were cleaning the sore bits of gum which were under the gumline. When he came to see me for his check up a few days after the procedure, the gums looked so much better, Mrs. Miggins told me that he seemed a bit perkier, although the slowing down had been so gradual that she had thought it was just his old age and not realised that his teeth and gums were hurting him.

This story is very typical of the pets that we see on a daily basis. Teeth can get many different problems, but here we are talking about a condition called periodontitis. This is caused by plaque and tartar which contain bacteria and build up on the teeth over time. The bacteria sit next to the gums, causing inflammation and then they start to make their way down in the gap between the tooth and the jaw, destroying the bone and causing pain and infection and eventually a very loose tooth. The first thing that many owners notice is the bad breath caused by the bacteria, but if you look carefully, you will often see yellow calculus (tartar) which builds up close to the gum line. Initially, it is impossible to see effects under the gum line, it is only visible (without prfoessional equipment) when so much bone gets destroyed that the part of the tooth which is usually covered by gum and bone becomes visible (a very severely effected tooth). At this stage, it is irreversible.

The great news is that in mild and moderately affected teeth, the process IS totally reversible and the body will do the work for us as long as the teeth and gums are kept very clean. Therefore, it is really important that any affected teeth are cleaned professionally and then kept scrupulously clean by tooth brushing at home. Professional periodontal cleaning and examinations must be done under anaesthetic, to make sure that the pet is not put through any pain and that the area under the gum line is cleaned effectively. Home brushing should be done once per day – everyday! To have the most effect.

But prevention is better than cure, so if we can get brushing the teeth of all of the puppies and kittens that we see, we should be able to avoid most periodontal disease and leave our pets with much nicer smelling breath, much cleaner looking teeth and a mouth that is free from pain and infection.

I have included some pictures of a dog I treated recently. His gums were very sore before treatment, so much so that in one area of his gums, the gum had become so irritated that it had grown a little lump from it, which needed to be removed. After treatment, his gums are much less inflamed and his owner told me that he appeared to be brighter and happier – a really great success!

The article was written by Dr. Oli MRCVS, the owner and vet at The Finchley Vet, 599 High Road, Finchley. 020 3603 4441. If you have any questions about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to ring us. oli


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The importance of grooming your dog properly on a daily basis


12654499_10153406034140754_5189231663032031003_nDOODLES! (And others)
The perfect photo (from another groomer) to show how matting happens at the base (or at the skin). So many doodle owners are saddened to hear the only thing I can do with their pups coat is a shave because they thought brushing the top coat was enough. By looking at this dog, you may not see the knots and you may not feel them as you would a knot on the ends of the fur but once it starts its very difficult/ impossible to brush/COMB out… Not to mention it would be cruel to put the dog through.

Often times I feel like owners don’t believe groomers when they say the dogs has to be clipped. I always hear “I know he/she is matted, but leave as much as you can”… this photo shows, the only way to get UNDER the matting is nothing left.
I promise you, I’d rather not clip your baby naked either! I also don’t want to hurt my reputation when the clients go around complaining about how the last groomer “scalped” their dog. But doodles are easily one of the highest maintenance dogs in reference to their coats. The combination of the soft coat of a golden, or aussie, or newf, or wheaten, or whatever they are mixing poodles with these days is a coat that is SO prone to matting. And even more so are the new “double doodles” that i like to call “double maintenance”.

I even find some doodles on a regular schedule need to be clipped once or twice a year (maybe not shaved, but maybe teddy bear length for a fresh start) because after all of the brushing and de-matting, the damaged coat seems to become even MORE likely to matt.
If you like a fluffy pup, you probably need to consider no more than 3-5 week intervals between grooming and set aside time for regular COMBING at home.

AND!!!!! “breeders” who say they can’t/shouldn’t be clipped and OR not to give them a hair cut until they are 1 year are out of their minds and setting you up for a SAD SAD SAD day when you finally take your pup to the .

Sit Stay Style Mobile Spa & Pet Photography with Kat Laney.


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Microchipping your dog

microchip-sign-on-dog_0The Micro chipping of dogs becomes  compulsory in England from 6 April 2016.
It is important that you ensure your dog is chipped or, if already done so, the details on the chip are up-to-date. It is already a requirement in Wales, where dogs have to have been chipped from March 2015.

As a dog owner, you will have many questions about this new law and what it means for you, and your doggy best friend.

Does micro chipping denote ownership?

If a dog strays, bites or causes unjust damage, the phrase used in law is ‘legally responsible’. As the keeper of the dog, you are liable for it and thus if the dog does stray, bite, cause a nuisance and so on, you are held responsible.

There is an exception and this is when the dog attacks a burglar or trespasser on your land.

How long after 6 April 2016 do I have to microchip my dog?

From this date onwards, all dogs must be micro chipped and registered on an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old. In other words, don’t wait until April to have your dog chipped – go and do it now!

Are older dogs exempt?

No, there are no exemptions from the Micro chipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014. Vets can exempt a dog if they feel that it will unduly suffer as a result of being chipped but there are very few health reasons why micro chipping cannot go ahead. If you are unsure, talk to your vet.

What will happen if I do not microchip my dog?

It is important to know what micro chipping means. Under the regulations it means implanting a chip in the dog and registering your details on a database. By not micro chipping your dog, or not registering on an approved database, you are not compliant with the regulations. In the first instances, you will be served a notice and within this 21-day timeframe, you must get your dog chipped and registered. If you do not, you could be liable for a £500 fine.

If you do not keep your details on the database up to date, you could face another £500 fine too.

What should I do now?

Microchips are available in a number of places, including at your local vets, some animal shelters as well as some of the national pet store chains. Remember, you must have your dogs chipped and your details registered!


Article by Derek Chambers of Finchley Dog Walker and Edited by Sue Goulden of Tip Top Dog School

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Improving your Dog’s Mental Health


We like to ensure that our dogs are well looked after. Two meals a day, a walk and a warm bed to sleep on and the odd stroke is not enough. Nor is exercising the dog till it is exhausted a good idea.

A balance is needed between physical exercise and mental stimulation and love and affection.

Do dogs get bored?

Yes they can is the answer! Puppies and dogs need a balance of exercise, play, mental stimulation and also rest. We need to recognize when a dog does need to sleep. It is a fact that dogs sleep for around 50 percent of the day. Approximately 30 percent of the day is rest (mostly awake but inactive) Dogs are active only about 20 percent of each day.


Something to remember about puppies is that they need sleep – lots of it, just like babies. Your puppy will need about 18-19 hours’ sleep in every 24. So only expect 4 to 5 hours of being awake and only about an hour at a time. If they’re kept awake and playing, you could both be heading for a stressful time. Young dogs and puppies can get over excited too easily and then it can all end with an over exuberant and boisterous dog.


If left to their own devices for too long a dog will end up finding something to do and it may well be not what you want! A dog unless trained  and guided  by you will end up making the wrong decision.

Also bear in mind that a dog tends to repeat what gets it a reward! For example : if a 4 month old puppy barks and jumps at the back door to be let in and as soon as you open the door in it bounds jumping up at everyone and all over the settee. He needs to know that being calm will get him back in. The same as jumping up – people say “oh I don’t mind he is only a puppy “and  then stroke him. Jumping up is now being reinforced and becomes a habit and a problem


Dogs can become bored for any number of reasons.

  • Lack of exercise
  • Being left alone for too long or crated for too long
  • Lack of play
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of appropriate chew toys
  • Lack of stimulation

Brain Activity Toys

Dogs are curious animals. They love games that they have to figure something out. There are a number of toys on the market that allow your dog to think through a situation. One of the most popular toys available is toys in which the dog has to figure out how to remove a treat from the inside of the toy. These toys usually come in the form of a Kong. Use the dogs own food to make it work for its dinner – they love them!



Interactive Games

Game play is one of the best ways to keep your dog entertained and develop a stronger bond. It only takes a few minutes of game play each day to provide your dog with the attention they need. Be sure not to play the same game every day so that your dog does not get bored. Vary things up and research new games to play to keep things interesting. You can find a  great range of toys by Nina Ottosson


Training and Fun

Learning something new assists your dog with his mental health development. It also helps them because they will notice that you are happy with their development and want to learn more to see the smile on your face. Why not buy a Trick Training book?


Dog Sports and Classes

The number of classes and sports that are available for dogs is ever growing. If you live in an area that is known for having these activities allow your dog to participate. If your community does not have these opportunities, it may be a good idea to start some yourself to get the community involved. Dogs love to interact with others and these sports and classes are a great way to get everyone out and playing with their dogs. Agility,flyball,Cani-Cross to name but a few dog sports


Doggie Day Care

If you are out all day why not consider “ doggie day care  “ as this will ensure that your dog is properly cared for throughout the day and will not get bored. It will also give him the opportunity to interact with other people and dogs.

Local Dog Walker

There are times where doggie daycare may not be available or may not be within your budget. There is no need to fret if you cannot afford daycare. Your dog can still get human interaction throughout the day and be properly cared for it you employ a credible dog walker such as Finchley Dog Walkers. This will give your dog some exercise and keep your home from getting messed up throughout the day while you are at work.

Varied Walks

Walking is a great way to keep your dog from becoming bored. Many people walk their dog, but often fail to vary up the places they walk. Dogs like variety and varying up walks gives the dog something new to look at. It also gives you the chance for some sun and exercise.

Go for a hike in the woods. Hide food in tree stumps. Hide toys for him to find. Teach him to retrieve. Use your imagination!


Dog boredom can be avoided with these simple tips. You will notice that your dog will be happier than he ever has been and will rest better at night from all the stimulating activity throughout the day.


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Breaking up a dog fight

Sometimes dogs fight – it doesn’t happen very often but when they do you need to be very careful before breaking it up. It is quite common to get bitten, even by your own dog if you put your hands in.

Remain Calm

When a fight occurs it is important that you approach the situation in the calmest way possible. Dogs are amazing creatures and can settle their differences largely without fighting. Dogs give off calming signals (appeasement signals) to help calm down situations and 9 times out of 10 the situation will diffuse.

When the Fight Occurs

There are a number of tactics that can be used in order to break up a fight, but it is important to remember that when a dog is fighting they are in that moment and not easily distracted. Yelling the dog’s name or screaming “NO” at him may not to have any effect.

Water –A simple solution is to throw water on them. A bucket of water is fine, but a garden hose is your best bet to effectively break up the fight.

Object Redirection – Dogs are easily distracted and objects they love can often distract them. Wedging an object between two fighting dogs can distract them enough to stop fighting. This should be done with extreme caution to avoid being drawn into the fight. The use of a broom handle or throwing a ball can sometimes be effective. You could throw in a rucksack or even your car keys – it may be enough to get them out of “the zone”

Pull Them Apart – If you are fortunate enough to have others around you, you may be able to pull the dogs apart. One person takes on one dog and pulls them apart by grasping onto the hind legs of the animal. Do not jerk the dogs apart because you could end up injuring their back legs in the process. With a firm hand pull the dogs far apart, but be careful because the dog can quickly whip around and come after you.


Prevention is always the best way to not have to worry about breaking up dog fights. If you pay attention to your dog and the surrounding dogs you can see the aggression in their body language. Most fights occur over territory and a dog standing up for his territory will have fixed eyes, stiff body and often lower their head and glare at the intruder.

Training is also a way to avoid a fight situation. A good recall is important as well as social skills and etiquette. Dogs require social skills just like humans do and depriving them of the vital social skills can leave them nervous and vulnerable to attack.

All fights may not be able to be prevented, but a little know how can save your dog from injury and allow him to be able to be around other dogs whilst out dog walking without incident.

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Dealing with minor cuts and scrapes


Dogs are always going to get into scrapes and the more adventurous among them are likely to show up with cuts and grazes now and then.So what should we do when if and when we discover pour pooch has a cut?

First of all you need to examine your pet thoroughly. Dogs are good not at complaining and you may find that the injury is worse than you thought.  Start at the tail and check all the way to  nose on both sides and underneath your dog.

Secondly if you do discover any gashes or grazes, carefully wash the affected area with a damp cotton wool soaked in a solution of Hibiscrub which  is readily available from chemists. Your vet would be using this as well.Be careful as your dog’s endorphins may have kicked into protect it from the pain, or they may have an endorphins rush simply from the exercise, but as it starts to settle down you may find it becomes more sensitive to pain and might lash out if it becomes agitated.

To ease pain and swelling try and add a cold compress, and ice pack is the best if your dog will let you close enough. If not then just add a cold wet cloth.

If the cut is quite deep and you may need to seek medical attention. A good way to reduce the risk of infection is to apply Medical Strength Manuka Honey (available from Amazon)

Another alternative is mix a little salt and water and rinse the wound twice a day assuming it is a minor wound.

Dogs Saliva does contain a mild antiseptic, but you should discourage licking as they invariably will make matters worse.

Arnica 30c is very good at aiding healing and bruising.Bandages are good a good idea but have to be applied correctly.See here for a good tutorial

You will need to have lint and Vet Wrap (co-hesive bandages ) micro – pore tape. A dog boot is a good idea to help offer protection when out and about. It’s never a  bad idea to have an Elizabethan Collar at home as part of your medical kit.

Of course if things don’t improve then get your dog to a Vet as soon as possible.


We are not Vets and this info is not intended, in any way, to take the place of the advice from your Vet.   If you have concerns please contact your vet or Vetfone

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