Do’s & Don’ts of a Dog Friendly Holiday: Ox Pasture Hall

When offered the chance to stay in a pet friendly hotel I didn’t hesitate. It was only afterwards I realised we hadn’t shared a room with Lupo since he was a puppy. Did you know dogs have much shorter sleep cycles than we do? They don’t go into as deep as sleep either. When we had a new born baby I could hear Lupo getting up in the middle of the night, rearranging the sofa cushions and lying back down, quite often. He came on our honeymoon with us, to a log cabin in Wales, but stayed in the living room, so this trip would be a first for all of us.

Here’s what we packed for Lupo:
  • Two large towels – I use old beach towels, one to put underneath his food and water bowl, the other for drying wet paws
  • Blankets – for sleeping on or sucking (a Dobermann habit)
  • Foldable water bowl – I took this one, as it’s handy for in the car as well as the room
  • Lead and Halti – If your dog has a tag with just your home landline on, make sure you take one with your mobile number, in case he goes missing
  • Enough food for the night, bowl and fork – no need to lug the whole bag, measure it out before you go
  • Treats – to keep them close by on your walks in strange places
  • GoPro Camera and dog harness
Nervousness of the lack of sleep even without a toddler in tow, aside, we set off to Ox Pasture Hall, near Scarborough in North Yorkshire, on a chilly February weekend. The hotel looked lovely, nestled in the valley and on the edge of the national park.
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Do let your dog relive himself before entering a boutique hotel, after a 2.5 hour car journey. You do not want that kind of accident to be your first impression.
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Don’t forget to give you dog time to explore his surroundings. Lupo is not the most chilled out dog, his guarding nature makes him on edge until he gets a feel for the place. So once we were shown to our room by Lynsey on reception, Lupo made his way around every inch. The suite we were staying in had a large open plan living area and bedroom, and a separate bathroom.
ox pasture hall, velcrodog
Do still appreciate the view, it’s not all about the dog you know.
Do leave the comfort of the hotel grounds and explore. Once settle, we headed off down the road to walk in the woods as the sun was setting. Lupo captured his journey on a GoPro camera, the video of which I’ll be sharing soon.
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Don’t leave it so late that the moon is nearly out by the time you get back. But, the hotel looked very picturesque. You’ll also like to know that the hotel offer the use of an outside hose if you want to wash any muddy paws before heading back to your room.
Do try and get a better photo of the sunset than this, I challenge you! This was the same view from our bedroom window. Gorgeous.
Don’t forget to take some me-time. Whilst the boys watched TV/ snuggled with their blanket (you decide who’s who!), I enjoyed this HUGE bath with waterfall tap. There is also very little phone signal or wifi, so I lay in silence for the first time since I can’t even remember. Bliss.
Do make sure you dog feels right at home, with those chin scratches he enjoys.
Do make full use of the pet friendly policy by heading to the lounge before dinner. We browsed the menu over a glass of wine and Lupo enjoyed staring at us. Not creepy at all.
IMG_1832Ahh, he loves me.
Don’t miss out on amazing food just because you have a dog, thats what I loved about this place. I feared there was going to be a separate menu for the Bistro restaurant we were in, but turns out we got the same choice as everyone else. I don’t know what I expected from a pet friendly hotel, but it certainly wasn’t the high standard of food we got served. The service was great too, one particular waiter gave Lupo lots of fuss.
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Do remember a Dobermann is the perfect height for the table. Keep wine glasses and food out of reach.
But do let him have a taste of the high life. Mushroom soup, tasty.

So you’ll be wondering if I got a restful nights sleep after all? Well I was full of cold so that didn’t help, but the bed was really comfy. It’s rare I say that as we have a memory foam bed at home that is pretty hard to beat in even 5 star hotels, but Ox Pasture Hall came pretty close. Lupo moved around a bit in the night, but maybe it’s because I kept waking too. He’s lucky I won’t blame him this time.

The next morning, we headed back to the restaurant for a full English breakfast. Top notch again on the food front. It was nice to eat a hotel breakfast without a hangover for once, our other stays always seem to be for weddings or nights out! Lupo got some sausage and bacon I reluctantly gave up.

Even the tomato was declaring it’s love.
I think his face says it all. All too soon it was time to pack up and head home.
IMG_0563Thank you to the team at Ox Pasture hotel for a wonderful stay. I’d highly recommend a stay if you can’t bear to leave your pooch at home. Read more about them on their website here:
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Taking Care of Your Puppy

Pups are furry four legged pals that need proper care from the time they are born all the way into their elderly years. Not taking care of your puppy properly could lead to behavioral issues as well as health issues. To help make sure you are taking care of your puppy properly, the ten tips in the guide below should help.

Aprox 1/10 of his full grown size here

(Photo: Lupo at 7 weeks old)

#1 Regular Vet Visits

From the time a pup is born until the end of its life, it needs to have regular vet visits. Vet visits will provide insight on just how well a pup is doing physically and mentally. It can also help determine any health issues needing proper care and treatment. Bringing stool samples to the vet during each visit for testing to make sure worms and other potential parasites are not invading the dog’s digestive system causing issues.  A veterinarian, to help keep the dog as healthy as possible, will also administer proper vaccines.

#2 Vaccinations 

Vaccinations are important to all pup’s health because they help keep their immune systems healthy. Some of the most important vaccines a dog should receive each year are canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies. These vaccines are necessary from the age of eight weeks and up.

#3 Deworming 

Anytime worms are a possibility in a dog, it is important to visit the vet for proper deworming treatment. Failure to due so will put the dog’s health at risk and causes severe digestive issues.

#4 Diet & Nutrition 

Finding dogs a proper diet that consist of dry and wet food are essential for keeping dogs healthy and strong. However, it is wise to portion a pup’s food out properly as directed by a veterinarian to ensure the pup does not become overweight or develop diabetes. It is also wise to stick to feeding dogs organic pet food brands that ensure they are receiving the necessary nutrients and protein to stay energized and active for a healthier lifestyle.

#5 Socialization & Engagement 

To help a pup with socialization with other humans and other animals it is wise to take it to doggie training school for lessons on how to behave and engage with other beings properly. Playing with the pup often and providing lots of love and care helps develop the pup’s skills and a proper temperament.

#6 Bathroom Training 

As soon as a puppy is brought home, bathroom training is necessary. It must learn where to go to the bathroom and where not to go. Laying newspaper down around the house can teach the pup proper places to find relief, but taking the pup outside as soon as the pup lifts a leg or squats is the best option so it does not become confused on where too properly go.

#7 Grooming & Bathing 

Grooming and bathing are essential for keeping fur coats and skin looking healthy and vibrant. This should also include regular tick and flea treatments, nail trimmings and haircuts monthly done by the owner or a trained groomer.

#8 Lots of Exercise 

All dogs need to be walked and played with outdoors for proper exercise daily. There is no excuse not to be doing this regularly. It’s important to the dog’s overall health.

#9 Plenty of Rest 

Developing a regular sleeping schedule with the pet will ensure it gets the proper amount of rest necessary to stay healthy and strong.

#10 Lots of Tender Love and Care

Most importantly, all four legged friends need tender love and care often to live long happy lives. For more helpful information on taking care of your puppy properly visit Browns Dog Food.

Hi-tech dog collars help vets monitor health improvements

Painkillers can help dogs with osteoarthritis to run about nearly in the same way as healthy dogs, a study of their movements has shown. Vets used GPS technology attached to collars to track dogs with osteoarthritis and see how they responded to treatment.

Dog 3

The collars monitor the dogs’ every movement when outside and can give vets vital information about their physical performance. Vets can see how fast the dogs are moving, how quickly they speed up and slow down, and how far the animals travel during outdoor activities. The collars give a very accurate overview of the dogs’ activity during their normal exercise regime.
The team at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies used the collars to monitor healthy dogs and dogs with arthritis while they were on walks. The data collected from the collars could differentiate between different activities, such as on-lead walking, off-lead activity and play.
They found that dogs with osteoarthritis could run as fast as healthy dogs but their acceleration and deceleration was significantly affected by their condition. When the animals were treated with an anti-inflammatory painkiller (Carprofen), their performance was restored to a level comparable with healthy dogs for most of the measures taken.
Dog 5
The study also showed that, on average, healthy dogs ran faster, and accelerated and decelerated harder when they were encouraged through play than they did when left to their own devices off the lead. This shows that the intervention of owners during exercise can directly affect dogs’ performance.
The research is published today in the journal PLOS ONE and was funded by the PetPlan Charitable Trust. The lead researcher of the project, Dr Dylan Clements, said: “GPS collars have given us an insight into the levels of physical performance dog exhibit during their normal daily activities, and show us how much we can alter a dog’s performance by keeping them on or off a lead, or playing with them.
“We found that they were a sensitive way for us to measure how well dogs recover from a disease that affects activity, such as osteoarthritis. We hope to be able to use the collars to understand more about how activity might contribute or help prevent diseases in the future”
(Photos feature a Mongrel called Joe and a Collie called Max)

Animal Friends donate £5000 to the Dogs Trust

Animal Friends Insurance continues their support for the Love Rehoming campaign alongside Presenter Eamonn Holmes, by donating £5000 to the Dogs Trust in Harefield. Founder and Managing Director of Animal Friends Insurance, Elaine Fairfax presented the cheque to the Dogs Trust yesterday morning.

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Elaine commented “I am very proud to support the Love Rehoming campaign and Dogs Trust and to continue supporting animal welfare. I truly believe that animal lives are precious, and that it is the duty of pet owners to do what they can, not just for their own pets, but for animals in need all over the world, which is why I support the efforts of animal rescue centres and the Love Rehoming campaign.”

The Love Rehoming campaign was launched with an aim to raise awareness about abandoned animals and change the negative stigma around animal rehoming. The campaign recently carried out a survey to look at the attitudes and behaviour of pet owners towards rehomed animals in order provide an insight to how rehoming figures can be improved.

Eamonn Holmes was thrilled to be there to support the Dogs Trust and the Love Rehoming campaign “Maggie our dog who I rehomed from the Dogs Trust has completely changed my life. I’m passionate about the importance of rehoming pets as a result; that’s why campaigns like Love Rehoming are so vital and important. I just can’t get over the love that Maggie gives to Ruth and I, I would like to urge everyone that they should get a dog from a rehoming centre like the Dogs Trust.”

The Dogs trust rehomed 14,895 dogs last year and have 1,535 currently in their care. Dogs Trust Harefield is one of 20 rehoming centres located around the UK that cares for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

14 week old collie puppies Mel and Sue from the Dogs Trust Harefield

Richard Moore, Dogs Trust Harefield Rehoming Centre Manager says “We were delighted to welcome Elaine and Eamonn to Dogs Trust Harefield today and are incredibly grateful for the generous donation. The money will be put to good use caring for the 150 dogs currently at the rehoming centre looking for their new forever home.”

Animal Friends Insurance is the main supporter of the Love Rehoming Campaign and provided statistical data for the Love Rehoming report.

About Love Rehoming

Love Rehoming (@loverehoming) is an independent grassroots campaign set up to provide a platform for animal shelters and their supporters to tell their stories and show the value of pet rehoming. The campaign runs throughout January 2015 with guest blogs from shelter staff, real-life rehoming stories and articles about the importance of pet adoption.


The Silent Killer

Did you know there may be a silent killer in your home that can claim the life of your beloved pet without you even knowing it?

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas produced by heaters, boilers and cookers in the home. It it potentially toxic to animals and humans. Most worryingly of all, it’s very difficult to detect and can easily be inhaled without realising. For example, a faulty heater running all night can poison a household while they are sleeping.

A recent case in America saw 12 pet birds die after a carbon monoxide leak in a family home, which also saw the family dog fall seriously ill after being exposed to harmful levels of the gas. Thankfully, the pet pooch made a full recovery.

However, according to NHS statistics, every year in the UK, over 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and around 40 people die. How many of these people were pet owners isn’t recorded.

What we do know, though, is that your pet has a reduced capacity to deal with the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning compared to a human. That’s why carbon monoxide alarms are such a lifesaver.

CO detector

What to do if your alarm goes off

The first step should be to get fresh air immediately; turn off the appliance with the leak and leave the house. If you think you are in danger, ring the National Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 11 999. If you suspect you or anyone in your house has been carbon monoxide, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible – visit your GP or go to the hospital as soon as possible – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. The same advice applies to animals, you should contact your vet and let them know the situation.

CORGI HomePlan kindly sent me a CO detector which I have placed near our boiler for peace of mind. I have tested the alarm (you should do this regularly) and it’s pretty loud, you won’t miss it! You can read more about how to keep your home safe and enter a draw to win a detector of your own worth £30, here:

GoPro Velcro Dog

A few snaps and a video testing out our new GoPro camera. Much fun to be had this year!

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The photo before the photo

There can be a lot of pressure to get the perfect photo. Most of us carry around a decent camera on our mobile phones, and others have invested in some proper kit since it has become much more affordable. So at some point I’m guessing we have fancied ourselves as budding photographers.

I am guilty of taking multiple photos trying to get the one I want. This problem is no more prevalent when your subject is a dog that doesn’t want to be sitting still against a sunset or rainbow, when there are squirrels to be chased.

I thought I’d go through my photo folders and pick out a couple of examples of the photos before THE photo. Looking back, some of them are far more entertaining than the one I chose to share on social media. Perhaps we should all start sharing the less than perfect snapshots once in a while?

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Once I’ve finally got my perfect shots, or concluded they may always be a bit blurry but that’s OK, I’m a big fan of sharing them on Instagram. I’m always looking at ways to preserve those photos and memories somewhere other than the Internet. I’ve had them printed to look like Polaroids and even had some featured on edible marshmallows (a company owned by Kate Middleton’s brother, no less).

I think my favourite (longer lasting than marshmallows) solution has to be photo magnets. I recently ordered nine photo magnets through and went for a mixture of photos depicting Lupo as a puppy and on his own, along with some baby photos. Even better are the ones of them both together!

Compared to the Polaroid prints I had done last year and haven’t taken out the box, these are so easy to display with no need to hunt for blutac or drawing pins. I have kept six of them which are now proudly displayed on fridge, and constantly re-arranged by my daughter. The remaining I have placed inside Christmas cards, as a nice surprise for our family.

For just £9.50 for a sheet of nine, you can’t go wrong for an extra personal gift or to jazz up your own fridge. Mine arrived just a few days after I placed the order and it’s free worldwide shipping too.