Time for Walkies for National Walking Month

The month of May brings National Walking month to the UK, and Living Streets is challenging the nation to #Try20 encouraging everyone to try and fit 20 minutes walking into their day.

Tip: Just 20 minutes of walking every day helps you to feel fitter, brighter, and increases metabolism.

Walking your dog is a great way to spend time outside and it’s easy to get 20 minutes in without thinking about it. But are you being a responsible dog owner whilst out walking, and are you mindful of other dogs, walkers and your surroundings?

Dog laws are put in place to ensure responsible pet ownership and safety for those who interact with them. Here’s quick guide to help you find out more…

Laws for controlling dogs

Your dog is ‘under control’ if it is being held on a lead by someone who is able to use equal force to restrain the dog if it tries to pull away.

It’s against the law to let a dog be ‘dangerously out of control’ anywhere, such as:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place, eg a neighbour’s house or garden
  • in the owner’s home

And a dog is considered to be ‘dangerously out of control’ if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

A court could also decide that your dog is ‘dangerously out of control’ if either:

  • it attacks someone’s animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

The penalties for a dangerously out of control dog are an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to 6 months (or both) and if you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years or fined (or both).

Fixed Penalties

There are certain incidents which will call for a fixed penalty as an alternative to prosecution. These offences include:

  • straying
  • keeping a dog without a licence
  • failing to display identification information on a collar/tag
  • failing to keep a dog under control on certain roads where livestock is present
  • failing to notify the council of the transfer of a dog whose licence is subject to a control condition
  • contravention of any control condition
  • and from the 6th of April 2016 in the UK… failing to have your dog microchipped and its ownership details recorded on a database

The default level for a fixed penalty is £75, although a council may set its own level from £50 to £80.

Dog Fouling

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 means that a dog owner found not clearing up after their dog can receive a penalty up to £1,000.

Barking and Dagenham are running a pioneering programme of dog DNA tests to catch owners who do not clear up after their pets’ fouling.

Being aware of the laws that affect you and your dog allow a more responsible dog owner and encourages others to do the same.

PetSafe® are dedicated to promoting safe and healthy pets and owners.

Have something to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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Filed under Dogs, General

On the road with your pet

Our pets mean a lot to us, and we love nothing more than spending precious moments with them by our side. It’s becoming more common to take our pets with us when travelling, so we need to make sure we are providing a safe environment when taking them with us on the road.

Whether it’s a small cat or a large dog, there is an option for all pets when it comes to car safety.

Travelling by Car

Having your pet unrestrained in the car can cause distractions to the driver (and other surrounding drivers if your pet decides to stick their head out of the window!)
And there’s a big risk that unfamiliar sounds or surroundings can startle and scare even the best-behaved pets.

In the UK, the Regulations for transporting your pet (Highway Code – Rule 57) are:

“When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

Let’s find out more about these types of restraints and how they help your pet…

Seatbelt Harness
When attached to the seatbelt, the harness that goes around the chest and shoulders will keep your pet in place with minimum restrictions. Ensure that your dog can’t get tangled in the harness when moving as this will cause discomfort and distractions to the driver. A harness is most suitable for medium and large dogs.

Pet Carrier
Owners of small dogs and cats should consider a pet carrier, making sure it is the correct size for them to stand up, turn around easily and lie down in a natural position. The carrier should be attached properly to an anchorage point in the back of the car to stop it moving around.

It’s also important for fresh air to circulate around carrier as much as possible as cars can become hot during the day.

Dog Cage
Putting a dog cage in the back of the car allows them to have their own space but limits the movement and likelihood of distracting the driver. This method is popular and used by professional dog handlers such as the police and people who show their dogs.

Make sure the cage is secured preventing any movement and if your pet is nervous about travelling include their bed or a favourite toy in the cage to keep them calm through the journey.

Dog Guard
A dog guard provides a partition between the backseat and the back door of the car, giving the dog a large space in the car. This will keep them away from the driver and other passengers but offers little protection in the case of a crash.

Bedding or blankets should be used in the back on the floor to provide some grip for the dog during movement and comfort for when they want to lie down.

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We’d like to hear what you think, do you have any hints and tips or tricks to share?
Let us know in the comments below.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Holiday, Pets

Will you #ShareTheLove?

Sharing special playtime with your pets is important not only for them, but for you too. Just 5 minutes of play can help you both feel happier and more connected… so we’ve decided to #ShareTheLove and pass it around the whole world!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve partnered with some of our lovely friends at Your Cat Magazine, K9 Magazine, and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium (amongst others!) to enjoy some playtime with our favourite fluffballs.

And now we’d like you to join in too! Take part here…

All you have to do is film yourself catching and throwing one of our toys and submit your video. For every video we receive we will add money to our charity pot, which will make its way to the country with the most videos entered.

You will be helping to raise money for charity (as well as having fun!)

Our PetSafe® spokesperson Angela Critchley comments: “Play contributes significantly to a pet’s ‘quality of life’ both physically and mentally and playtime can be a huge part of ensuring a close bond between owner and pet.”

She adds: “Through this campaign we hope to raise awareness of the importance of play for pets and owners alike. As we lead busy lives we don’t always have lots of time for playing with pets and it’s important that we get the best out of the time we do have.”

Take a look at all the #ShareTheLove Videos to see our toys being thrown from Italy to Latvia – who knows how far yours will go?

We just want to see you having fun and Sharing the Love with your pets, after all, a stimulated pet is a happy pet!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, News, Pets