Eight reasons dogs love the forest

There is nothing quite like walking through the forest with your four-legged friend on a morning walk. Feeling the wind on your face and your dog tugging at the end of the lead. Hearing the cracks of twigs breaking underfoot and the sound of birds singing. Watching the beautiful sunrise between the trees and your dog’s tail wagging in excitement. Retiring to a cosy home – or home away from home – after a stunning forest walk with your dog makes it extra special. These are the eight reasons your man’s best friend loves the forest as much as you.

New smells
There are millions of new smells to discover throughout the forest and your dog will enjoy finding every one of them. My Golden Retriever dog – called Marley – loves the smells of squirrels and rabbits in our local woods.

Dog Friendly

Seasonal changes
From seeing the bright green of leaves and blooming flowers in spring to feeling the leaves crunch under your feet in autumn, your dog loves to walk through the forest in every season. Marley especially loves autumn as he enjoys kicking up the crisp leaves as he runs.

Take extra note of the weather conditions for your dog as they may feel cold in windy, rainy, snowy or icy conditions. It’s worth noting that seasonal canine illness is an unexplained condition that could potentially affect dogs in the autumn after people have walked with their dogs in wooded areas.

Forest bathing
Forest bathing is a new therapy used to reduce stress or anxiety. Spending time in the forest with your dog can help reduce stress and anxiety in both you and your four-legged friend. Forest bathing involves walking slowly, breathing deeply and opening your senses to the forest. The therapy will calm and rejuvenate you and your dog.

Acres of woodland
There are hundreds of acres of natural forest to explore with your dog. You and your dog can see the hundreds of acres available to explore as a challenge and discover every inch on your walks. The acres of woodland also mean there are hundreds of sticks for your dog to fetch.
Remember to always bag and bin your dog’s waste and ensure dogs are safe playing with sticks. You should also check yourself and your dog for ticks after visiting woodland areas.

Meeting other dogs
Dogs love to meet other dogs. Forest walks are the ideal place for dogs to meet and enjoy some playtime during their walk. Marley loves to play chase with other dogs in the forest on his walks.

Dog friendly holidays

Extra treats
If your dog is well behaved on a forest walk, it is likely he or she will receive delicious treats. Your dog may behave well during an encounter with another dog or by complying to a recall request on the lead. Marley always knows that when we go for a walk he will receive treats if he is well behaved.

Cosy homes
After returning to your cosy home – or home away from home in dog-friendly accommodation – your dog will love to curl up in their basket in front of a log fire at the end of the day. Every dog looks very cute curled up in their basket after a long day exploring.

Dog exercise areas
Most forest areas request that dogs are kept on leads to ensure wild creatures and birds are kept safe as well as other forest visitors. However, some places (such as at Center Parcs on pet-friendly breaks) offer designated dog exercise areas where your dogs can be let off the lead. Your dog can enjoy the freedom of running, jumping or playing in these dog exercise areas.

Article supplied.

Tips to Prevent the Risk Seeking Behavior in Dogs

Dogs have unique personalities and their moods vary ranging from joyful, playful to scared and aggressive. As a dog owner, you will always wish and work towards having a well-trained dog. However, often and when least expected, your dog may display risk-seeking behaviors. Even though aggression is not a welcomed behavior, it is common and quite dangerous. While you may want to use the best retractable dog leash for large dogs to train your dog, there are other important tips to employ. These tips will help you to manage the dog and to enhance its safety as well as that of your family members and friends.

Behavior in Dogs

To employ the best measures to prevent risk behaviors, you need to know the signs and symptoms that dog’s exhibit. This can be a one time or a sequence of increasingly intense risk-seeking behaviors. Your dog may;

Become rigid and still.
Bark uncontrollably.
Charge towards you, a friend or any person around.
Mouthing and muzzle punching.
Showing teeth and growling.
Snarling and snapping.
Quick nips and bites that may cause a bruise.
Bites leading to wounds.
Shaking
.

There are also different types of risk-seeking behaviors that you need to understand. They include: territorial, protective, possession, fear, defensive, social, frustration elicited, redirected, pain elicited, sex-related and predatory risk-seeking behaviors or aggression. Therefore, you need to carefully analyze the reasons behind a certain aggressive behavior in your dog to prevent and manage it efficiently.

Behavior in Dogs

Work with your vet
A dog can display a risk-seeking behavior due to an underlying medical condition. Painful conditions such as thyroid abnormality, canine aggression, and orthopedic issues can lead to irritability and aggression in dogs.
Dogs under medication can also be aggressive and susceptible to different situations. Therefore, it is vital to have a pet to examine the dog, and if a medical problem is identified, the dog should get treatment immediately. This gives the dog a better chance to recover and improve its behavior.

Professional behavior expert
It is equally important to seek the help of a professional behavior expert. Risk seeking behaviors are dangerous and can lead to detrimental effects. Think of it, even the best behavior experts get bitten time and again. This means leaving an untreated dog poses a serious risk to you and your loved ones.
A professional will evaluate the dog’s behavior to determine whether it is a defensive behavior or fear driven. The professional will also monitor the dog over a period of time and recommend the most ideal behavior modification plan that matches the needs of your dog.
A professional dog behaviorist will help you to understand the best ways to calm your dog, help it to relax, and stay safe around other dogs and people. This is why it is always important that you seek professional help at the first sign of a risk-seeking behavior.

Create a safe environment
Safety is paramount as you try to prevent and manage aggression in dogs. If the dog is aggressive towards children, strangers or other dogs, it is wise to keep it muzzled outdoors but in a comfortable and safe place.
Use the best retractable dog leash whenever you take your dog out in public or for a walk. This is because the dog can get frustrated, and try to run away. Your safety and that of the people around you as well as that of the dog is paramount. Exercise, play and walk the dog in a secure place such as the garden area with little or no interference from strangers. This is because, in such an environment, it is easy to calm and bond with the dog until the desired behavior is achieved.

Secure the dog
If the behavior of your dog is defensive, as a result of fear or due to an underlying medical condition, it is important to secure the dog. This can be in a kennel, a safe room or in the garden where the dog can relax and enjoy a quiet environment. Feed and play soothing music or provide toys that can distract the dog and keep it calm.
Choose a companion wisely for your dog
When choosing a companion for your dog, consider its breed and gender. Have a male and a female dog of different breeds to prevent aggression.

Behavior in Dogs

With these tips, the most important advice is that you seek professional help at the first sign of risk-seeking behavior. This will help you to treat and prevent safety and health risks for you, your family and your dog.

Article supplied.

How much research do we do before adopting a dog?

Something which may surprise a lot of dog owners recently emerged in the news, as the results of a survey from Legal & General revealed that one in every three dog owners did little to no research before deciding on which breed of dog to adopt.

This may feel like a high number, but as some of us know it’s sometimes the dog who chooses the owner rather than the other way around.

adopting a dog?

Out of those surveyed who did their research before adopting, common considerations for settling on a specific breed was size at 43%, followed by temperament at 41% and 34% who considered their breed based on their lifestyle. 11% of people surveyed thought about how much adopting a dog would cost, and just 7% looking into the price of insurance policies.

Considering the numbers, it isn’t much of a shock that 14% of owners said that they had five or more visits to the vet in the past year. 45% of owners also revealed that at some point they have also had to pay a visit to an emergency vet, which can come with astronomical costs.

adopting a dog

Worryingly, 36% of owners revealed that they don’t have pet insurance, with 46% saying that there is no need for it. Thankfully, 48% of owners said that pet insurance is a life safer (and will surely be made up of those who had to visit the emergency vet!)

Sadly 6% of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their chosen breed, so to help lower this number Legal and General have released the Breed Selector, an tool which, instead of allowing you to choose the ideal dog for you, allows a dog to choose you as their ideal human.

It’s a fun tool that asks about you, your home and your lifestyle, and matches you with a breed which fits in with what you’re looking for.

adopting a dog

As we all know, owning a dog can be hard work, but it is also rewarding and can bring love and joy to our lives. Whilst research is important before deciding who we want to bring home, we can’t always decide who we fall in love with and want to join the family.

For more information on pet insurance from Legal and General, more information is available on their website.

Oak Tree Cottage: A Hidden Gem on a Welsh Nature Reserve Where Your Dog is Always Welcome

Off the beaten track, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve in North Pembrokeshire, visitors both human and canine will find a recently refurbished getaway called Oak Tree Cottage – or the ‘Cwtch’ as it’s known to the locals.

Dog Friendly

A self-catering holiday cottage that’s perfect for those wanting to relax in comfort whilst surrounded by our amazing Welsh wildlife, and surprisingly, despite the vast and changeable spectrum of creatures that inhabit the beautiful Teifi Marshes, the reserve remains infinitely accessible to dog owners. The cottage itself is small and perfectly formed, and perfect for a small family or a couple, and is the ideal holiday retreat for those who are looking to disconnect from the rush of the world, and get back to nature.

There are no distractions to be had at Oak Tree Cottage. Itself set in the immediate compounds of the impressive Welsh Wildlife Centre, once the park is closed to visitors, the inhabitants of the cottage are given unique and unfettered access to the entire reserve and all it has to offer.

Watch otters at dawn, badgers and deer at dusk, kingfishers on the river and a wealth of flora and fauna during the daytime. Lulled to sleep by nature on the edge of a wood, in the heart of the nature reserve, you will have it all to yourself once the visitors have gone home. And with all of this fantastic, natural resource as your playground, comes winding walks through paths and walkways that your dog will love as much as you will.

Dog Friendly

The Cilgerran site is part of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, a regional section of the UK’s overall Wildlife Trust network, and a large part of the South and West Wales Trust’s ongoing commitment is to encourage a ‘dogs permitted’ policy. Whilst the Trust encourages diligence in order to help minimise distress and disturbance to local wildlife, it is quintessentially a welcome hub in North Pembrokeshire for families and visitors who want to take their dogs with them to this unique and captivating space.

The cottage is run and managed by on-site volunteers and trustees, and bookings at Oak Tree are handled by FBM Holidays, a well-known local holiday letting agency. A welcome hamper is provided with each booking, as are fresh brown eggs from the hens that live next to the cottage when available.

To enquire further or to book your dog-friendly break in the absolute heart of North Pembrokeshire’s most enchanting and inviting natural area, please visit https://www.fbmholidays.co.uk/cwtch

How to keep your dog comfortable while travelling in winter

Even though our furry friends are just that – furry – even the poofiest pooches can get a bit chilly in the UK’s icy winter temperatures. Yes, dogs were originally wild animals (and some still are), but a few thousand years of domestication has led to a love of pampering. And who can blame them?!

With that in mind, here are a few ways to help your dog keep comfy while travelling in winter.

  • Find dog-friendly accommodation

This might seem like an obvious point, but when you’re planning your holiday with your canine friend(s), it’s definitely the most important!

The words ‘dog-friendly accommodation’ are like music to a dog owner’s ears, as the vast majority of accommodation is human-only. Finding the perfect hotel, self-catering cottage or bed and breakfast can often feel like stumbling upon gold dust. It’s not often that you find all your preferred amenities and luxuries in a property, with the addition of it being dog-friendly.

When it comes to finding the right accommodation for you and your dog in winter, comfort is key. Is there a safe, warm place for your dog to sleep? Is there a roaring fire to up the cosy factor? Is there an enclosed garden, so that you don’t have to walk around in the cold with your dog while they do their business? All of these elements make a holiday much easier and more enjoyable for you and your pup, so make sure you’re armed with your tick list before you browse!

Woodfarm Barns has all of these features, and more. We don’t just tolerate dogs – we encourage them! And that’s why our beautiful, luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottages are a perfect choice for holidays all throughout the year, and also why we’ve built our reputation in this market.

  • Take blankets in your suitcase

If your dog loves to snuggle, ensure you bring a couple of their favourite blankets with you in your suitcase.

Often, we care about our own comforts and forget that our pets enjoy theirs too. Bringing a couple of blankets along on your trip will not only keep your dog warm, but will provide them with a familiar scent of home. This is often very handy when a dog is in an unknown place, as it is likely to help them settle into their surroundings.

  • Wipe paws after playing in snow

Although we are usually blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with only a couple of days’ worth of snow per year in the UK, it often settles quickly during those cold January and February months, creating a super fun situation for our dogs.

It’s a real pleasure to watch your pet playing in the snow, however, it’s very important that their fur and paws are cleared of snow once they’re finished. Firstly, snow can become contaminated with chemical-containing products such as anti-freeze and de-icer. If your dog licks their paws after paying in snow, they could ingest those same products and become ill. Also, snow can dry out your dog’s paw pads and cause them to crack, making it painful for your dog to walk.

When they come back inside from playing in the snow, simply wipe down your dog’s fur and paws with a towel to clear away the snow or ice.

  • Avoid leaving your dog in the car

Of course we all know that dogs should not be left in hot cars, but did you know that cold cars can be deadly too?

Car interiors lose heat very quickly in cold weather, meaning that anything left inside will become cold, including your dog. It’s most likely that they’ll just be uncomfortable, however in particularly cold climates or if your dog is exposed to low temperatures for a long time, they could develop hypothermia.

If you’re going to be travelling with your dog in the car, try planning ahead to make sure the places you’re visiting allow dogs. That way, your dog will be safe and happy knowing that they are with you, and you can rest assured that they are comfortable. For Suffolk-based holidays, the Woodfarm Barns-owned website whered www.wheredowe.co.uk owe.co.uk has lots of info on dog-friendly restaurants, shopping facilities and, of course, walks.

We at Woodfarm Barns and Barges hope you have a waggly tail of a time, wherever you plan to go on your winter holiday. We hope our top tips for dog-friendly winter travel come in handy, and help you and you dog keep safe and comfortable, and have lots of fun!

BREXIT – Your travel questions answered

Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel set the record straight

Show date: Friday 9th November

Show time: 1:00pm

With less than 6 months to go until March 29th, there has been continued speculation amongst politicians and commentators as to what Brexit will mean for travelling to the EU from the UK.

The outcome of this is a nation confused. That confusion spreads across areas such as Passports, both human and pet, EHIC cards and their validity, whether the need for an internal driving permit, a visa to travel, and even on to what this means for duty-free goods.

With much confusion, and with no sight yet of a deal or no deal position, who should we be listening to and where should be going for known information and fact.

Joining us to answer these questions and more live in the studio are Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel, the single biggest carrier of people to mainland Europe

https://www.eurotunnel.com/brexit

brexit pet passport

Grooming your Puppy for the First Time

All good dog owners know that grooming isn’t just about primping your pet to look cute; it’s also about maintaining good health.

The first time you groom your puppy is an important occasion that requires careful preparation and dedication. Don’t be put off by your inexperience; it’s easy to do once you know how. If you approach the situation armed with good advice and confidence, all will go smoothly for you and your furry friend.

Puppies are obviously going to be more challenging to groom than an older dog, and the first grooming experience is much like a child’s first haircut, i.e. expect some tears and tantrums!

Grooming Preparation:
In the weeks before grooming, concentrate on building a positive relationship with your puppy and ensure he is as comfortable as possible with touch and being handled in anyway. This is probably the most important thing you can do to prepare for grooming. Your aim is to make each session a calming, bonding experience.

You can practice this with positive reinforcement whenever you feed your puppy from your hand; stroke your puppy as it is lying down and gradually teach that being held by you is not dangerous.

Create a friendly environment so that your puppy immediately knows that whatever is about to happen is safe and enjoyable. Show affection with petting and soothing words so that the puppy is relaxed.

Keep your first groom session short, that way the puppy won’t misbehave and when you are ready for a second session, your puppy will be more used to the process and you can gradually go for longer each time.

Keep your puppy loosely restrained so that you can maintain your control without frightening him is also important.

Bath Time
Begin with a nice, relaxing bath using puppy shampoo and conditioner. Take care not to get soap in the puppy’s eyes. To really put your dog at ease, you can give it a massage as you work your way lathering down the back towards the tail and back legs.

Brushing
For the first session keep the brushing to a minimum. Be aware that any brushes, clippers and tools might alarm the puppy so show each brush or comb to the pup first before giving a treat as a reward. Do this a few times before then giving the puppy a few short strokes with the item. Be mindful of sensitive areas at first like inner legs and tail.

Clipping
Remember that clipping your dog’s claws is not the same as trimming your own nails. Cut at a 45-degree angle so as to avoid trimming the blood vessel that runs into the nail (which will be a painful experience for your dog if it gets cut by mistake!). You need to only cut the part of the nail that extends beyond this blood vessel known as a ‘quick.’

If unsure about clipping claws you should seek advice from a vet beforehand.

Grooming sessions at first should be short but done fairly often so that your puppy becomes accustomed to them and learns to associate them as just another fun activity to share with you.

A doggie day out at West Dorset Leisure Holidays!

James and James in Marketing spent the day working with our newest Marketing recruits our two four-legged friends named Harry and Daisy and here is our write up from their eyes!    Woof Woof says Harry! We would like to welcome you to one of the WDLH parks this Autumn. Although they are all dog friendly, Daisy and I spent the day today at Highlands End Holiday Park. We can’t believe how many new friends we met today (A quick woof to Milo and Millie) and we would love to meet more. Here is our special guide to a perfect doggy day at Highlands End!

Daisy and I started the morning off with a fabulous run in the parks dog exercising field, which looks over Eype Beach and all the way out to sea. We had great fun running around and playing fetch as the field is enclosed and we didn’t have to have our leads on like we do in the park. We had a rest and a drink back at the motorhome before heading up to the park shop. Although we aren’t allowed in the shop we can sneak into the Cowshed where the views are outstanding and we got to hear the news while our owners sipped a cup of Dorset Tea.

Daisy loved the smell of the breakfasts coming from Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, but being the older more sensible dog, I persuaded her that we should go home for breakfast and save our visit until later when the football was on and we will get more treats! I will push for breakfast on our departure day or late in the week if it rains at some point!

Breakfast was long and we began to get a bit restless so after a few teasing barks we were off for a walk down to Eype Beach with a small picnic and day out swimming and rock pooling under Thorncombe Beacon. It is embarrassing to say but it took me ages to build the courage up to go swimming. Daisy, the silly billy, jumped right in but I preferred chilling on the pebbles. Once I was in though, wow it was nice to cool off. I was so pleased we took our ball and we swam for hours (doggy paddle) out to get the ball to bring it back to the beach. I won of course!

Once we had a drink and our owners had their picnic, we began the walk back up to Highlands End. I didn’t think about the walk back up as we went down to the beach from the cliff top park, but we stopped at a bench halfway up to take in the view. Being a bit sandy we had a quick wash in the new doggy shower by the toilet block and then we had a nap and dried outside the Motorhome on the grass.

Mid-afternoon we were off again. I don’t understand sports unless dogs are involved and all Daisy does is pop the ball, but we went up to Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, where so much of the building is dog friendly. We understand some of the building has to be non-doggy and we were just pleased to be allowed in with our lovely owners. We weren’t allowed a pint but the doggy bowl gave us a quick pit stop before settling in for a nap.

We had dinner in the bar, well we didn’t as the food was so good everything was eaten by our owners but they really enjoyed the Ranch Burger and the Fish and Chips! As night fell we managed a quick walk back in the dog field before settling down for a kip. I was so pleased I even managed to say goodnight to Jack and Matt the park wardens who were doing their checks. They were a great help when we arrived after our journey and showed us where we could have a run while we checked in!

We managed to do all of this within walking distance of the park so we are excited for tomorrow when we are heading off to explore the local area in our little pink Fiat 500. According to the Visitor Information area on the park, the local market is on a Wednesday and Saturday, plenty of pubs welcome us for lunch and we can enjoy an ice cream while walking along the pier at West Bay!!

Some must know info for your owners when you come and say hi, we found out there are a maximum of 2 doggies per booking, you must be on a lead and stick with your owner’s while in the park and we also can’t be left alone which is great as we want to be with them having a great holiday! During November, dogs are only £1 each per night with touring bookings. Hopefully we will see you on the park soon! Woof!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

The silly grin and gentle tail wag from our furry friends never fail to brighten our day. Not only do dogs make excellent house pets, but they are also proven to make our lives happier. After all, all they do is makes us laugh and smile (except of course if they get a poop or pee accident!).

However, it’s not all about them making us happy, because we, as responsible dog owners should also bring back the favor to them. There are lots of ways you can do that, one of which is by making your home as dog-friendly as possible.

Let them roam freely and safely inside your house and backyard and giving them quick access to essentials like food and water goes a long way for your canine buddies. You can also give them toys to play on so that they won’t get bored and be destructive.

It’s all about ensuring that they stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. And take note, dogs have feelings too!

Well, some of you might think that having a dog is a walk-in-the-park — but it’s not.

It’s just like raising a child, except for the fact that it’s harder! But then again, it’s not a big problem because we’re going to help you become a responsible dog owner. As long as you love what you’re doing and you know what to do, then you’re on your way to raising your “super dog”.

Want to know more? If so, then scroll down to check out this creatively informative graphic from AXA. It’s a life saver!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

Waggy Tails in Untouched Wales

It’s exhausting fetching sticks, being a loyal friend and companion, running after balls, day in day out! So Menai Holidays is offering your best doggy friend a FREE holiday! Now that is something to wag a tail about surely? And not only that but we can show you all the dog-friendly places where you and your best friend can go together.

  See our full range of Dog-Friendly Cottages here: https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/cottages/types/dog-friendly-cottages/

However, it doesn’t stop there. Once your cottage is sorted we have your rest and play covered too. With our newly launched website not only can you find the perfect dog-friendly cottage but you can research and find …

Dog-friendly beaches https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/beaches/dog-friendly/

Dog-friendly cafes. https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/eat-drink/cafes/dog-friendly-cafes/

And… dog-friendly walks and attractions. https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/attractions/dog-friendly-attractions/

https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/walks/dog-friendly-walks/

So that wherever you go, your dog can come too! We look forward to seeing you and your furry friends very soon.

See our blogs on dog-friendly cafes in Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Llŷn and on dog-friendly beaches.

There is some small print to our “dogs go free” offer, so read on!

Bookings must be made between midnight 1st October & 31st October 2018 but you can stay between 1st October and 15th December 2018
The maximum we’ll pay towards dogs is £50. If there is a higher dog charge (staying for multiple weeks, or having more dogs than this amount covers) you’ll need to pay the difference.

Only one discount per customer
Dog owners can take full advantage of this offer by entering ‘WOOF18’ in the notes when making a booking online and hey presto, Menai Holidays will pay for the cost of up to two of your dogs to go with you for free, up to a maximum of £50.