A survey has found that one in four dog and cat owners (26%) in Europe will base their holiday locations on whether it allows them to bring their pets. With many holidaymakers looking to take their pet abroad this summer, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has created a comprehensive guide highlighting the different rules and regulations across major airlines for travelling with ‘man’s best friend’. The research can be found in the Know Before You Go section of the APH website at

The research compares the different dog breeds accepted on flights, the cost of flying abroad with a dog as well as the pet weight and crate stipulations across 20 major airlines including Air Canada, Alitalia, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

Not all dog breeds are allowed to fly in a commercial aircraft, with six of the 20 airlines researched, including Air France, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific, prohibiting flying with snub-nosed dogs (such as Pugs and Bulldogs) onboard any passenger flight. However, customers travelling with Qantas Group are allowed to take snub-nosed dogs on flights which are less than five hours long. Furthermore, Aer Lingus, Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa all state that dogs listed on the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (such as the Pit Bull Terrier) will not be accepted on any flight. Whereas, Iberia, allows the transportation of dangerous dogs on any commercial flight as long as the dog is muzzled for the duration of the flight.

The cost of transporting animals was also found to differ greatly between airlines with costs dependent on the crate size and final destination of the customer. For example, passengers flying with their pet with British Airways will be charged £89 for checking their pet into the hold compartment. However some airlines were found to charge a higher fee for transporting animals, with Swiss Air charging £272 per animal, each way.

Swiss Air passengers should also be aware that if a pet is refused entry to Switzerland, the owner has 10 working days to return the animal to the country of origin otherwise it risks being put down. On the other hand, out of the 20 airlines researched only Virgin Atlantic offers a dedicated Flying Paws Scheme where passengers can collect Flying Club Miles on behalf of their dog.

Boredom busting ideas for dogs

adult dobermannThere’s no escaping today’s long working hours and this can mean long stretches of the day, where you dog will be on his own. For the sake of his sanity and your furniture! Check out these great boredom-busting tips:

  1. Daily walks- do not underestimate the power of a good walk, this helps burn off any excess energy and will keep him motivated and stimulated. If your dog has a good routine, he will learn to relax at the times your not home and save his energy for walks.
  • Aim for at least two a day, if you have a park nearby try and take them a couple of times a week.
  • If you cant manage walks, do you have an roomy enclosed garden with a shelter you can leave your dog out to play during the day
  • The main thing is try and get your dog into as best routine as possible, if you can only manage one walk make sure it’s the same time everyday
  1. Treat balls/puzzle feeders- put some of your dogs daily dry food ration into a treat ball or puzzle feeder. These are great stimulation and encourage your dog to move, helping use up any spare energy
  1. Teething toys- dog love to chew when they are bored, to save your treasured possessions being chewed up, get a teething toy or a bone that your dog can gnaw on.
  1. Squeaky toys- most people hate them, but if you dog doesn’t rip them into sheds a few squeaky toys can offer hours of amusement. They love the squeaky noise and you can always remove them when you get home so you don’t have to hear the squeaking
  1. Other stimulation- some dogs get bored when its quiet, and they enjoy the stimulation provided from the hustle and bustle when you are at home
  • Do you have a radio that you can leave on
  • Is there a big window/porch they can sit and look as people go by – as long as they don’t bark and annoy the neighbours
  • Is there a secure area of garden your dog has access to- or if you have a warm kennel/shed with food/water could you leave him out. PLEASE BE AWARE- do not leave your dog out if there is a risk your dog could injure himself or others. Also take note of  the high incidence of dog theft – please be careful!
  1. Puppy pads- you wouldn’t be made to hold it in for 9 hours, so don’t expect your dog to!!! They may smell but they can be tidied away once you get home. Some dogs may be going where you don’t realise or some are so well behaved that you may find their destructive behaviour is down to them being frustrated about holding it in- think abut how you feel when your desperate. At the very least you may come home to an accident or worse you could cause your dog permanent damage.

Provided by Great pet products

Choosing the right dog food

I gave the raw food thing a go with Lupo, but he literally turned his nose up at it. I think I may have left it too late for a dog who has been handed his food on a plate for 5 years to go back to his hunter gatherer ways.

So I set aside looking for a better alternative to the tinned meat and dried food combination he was on (and regularly leaving half of it too, presumably through boredom as well as lack of taste (or real meat – what the hell are animal derivatives anyway? I’m guessing I don’t want to know).

Turns out nowadays there are some great comparison websites to search for dog food by your needs. I used this one. I wanted to find the best tinned meat out there. and by best, I mean one that has the highest percentage of actual meat. If you’ve never read the small print on the back of your dogs food, you may be in for a shock. Some supermarket brands contain as little as 3-5% actual meat.

After some research, I discovered dogs don’t need dry food like we have been told. Dry food does not help clean there teeth, anymore than eating cereal does for our own teeth. You should be brushing your dogs teeth and/or providing lots of chew toys for that. so i ditched that too, knowing Lupo would prefer to get straight to the good stuff.

I decided to find a ‘complete, wet food’ solution. Meaning, all he needs is in a tin, because frankly, I don’t have the freezer space for the amount he would need in raw form! I found Arden Grange to come top of the list, with an impressive 70% actual meat content. There are 3 flavour choices so I can rotate them, chicken, tripe and lamb. Best of all? Absolutely none of those hideous ‘derivatives’!


As with anything of quality, it comes at a price. Three times what we were paying for his old food in fact. But, there is a great deal on at the moment if you want to try the same food. Swell Pets have 24 cans for just £24.49. Lupo is having one can in the morning and two at night, so you can imagine the tin can mountain in my utility room.

so has it made a difference? other than my bank balance, you mean? Yes. I think it has made a difference on his behaviour. Yes he is still annoying sometimes but he doesn’t seem as on edge or bored as easily, maybe because he is more satisfied. He’s looking leaner, with more muscle definition too. And yeah, cleaning up after him, there is a lot less of that too, proving what he’s eating is actually worth being absorbed by his body. Always a good sign!

What do you feed your dog and how did you decide what was right?

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Five Reasons My Dog Annoys Me


I read a lot of parenting blogs. Both for work and now I am one, to read about people in the same boat. The ones I love to read and will laugh out loud at are where the parents are really honest about how hard it is sometimes. My absolute favourite is The UnMumsyMum, who recently said something I thought we could all relate to. Just like a mum who waited years for a baby through IVF treatments shouldn’t feel bad for not ‘enjoying every second’ of being a parent (because it’s bloody hard work), I think us dog owners shouldn’t feel bad for finding our pets annoying at times. Even those rescue dogs who may have had a bad start, I reckon they have equal potential to drive you round the bend just once in a while.

So with all that in mind I thought I might inject a bit more honesty into my own blog. and more importantly, find out what my readers think and if we are all in the same boat too?

I can’t be the only dog owner who is driven mad by their dog sometimes. Who dreams of a lie in, or to have more spontanity without having to worry about where the four legged furry one will be looked after. I’m going to share some of the times Lupo drives me round the bend. The times I’ve sworn at him or more recently started to talk to him like my toddler. Lupo: “whine, whine, whine” Me: “What’s the matter darling, I won’t know unless you tell me?”. I know, I know. Worrying.

I must make it clear, that these are just moments from a day and not a reflection of how much I love him or care for him. In fact, it should show I care enough to put up with them! I’ve only once considered calling the Dogs Trust… Just kidding.

The curse of the nickname

Velcro Dog came from the trait of a Doberman being it’s owner shadow. Whilst this is very endearing and ego boosting (Oh he can’t live without me! I must be amazing!) it can also be THE MOST ANNOYING THING IN THE WORLD.

Especially with his size. I mean, our house is a decent family size house, but when you try to get through a doorway with a baby gate and your dinner in one hand at the same time as a Dobermann, I will give you £50 if you don’t swear at him in the process for getting under your feet/ knocking you sideways/ spilling your drink/ all of the above. So for once it would be nice not to run that gauntlet at every room exit.

Bizarre noises

Now I’ve no idea if I got the weirdest one out of the ten strong litter of puppies all those years ago, but Lupo communicates in loads more ways than simply barking or wagging his tail (I’ll get to the tail later). For example, this particular pose, in front of my view of the TV, the cutesy way he’s positioned his blanket for comedy effect. It may have looked funny and made for the perfect Instagram shot but what I didn’t convey is the noise that accompanies this behaviour.


It starts of as a very short, sharp “ooo”. If you ignore him, he builds the pitch and holds the note further. “oooooo” “oooooooooo”. It’s not a growl or a bark, simply something he has perfected to annoy the hell out of me. His symphony continues and he adds in some REALLY high pitched barks. So loud my toddler will cry as it’s usually right next to her ear he’s that close (see point one). We give in by either letting him on the sofa, playing tug of war, giving him whatever we’re eating or putting him the garden muttering threats of the RSPCA under our breath. (We don’t want him to hear, obviously).

Being crap at being a Dog

When you get a dog you often think, oh aren’t they handy, they’ll hoover up crumbs and dropped bits of food in the kitchen. How delightful and normal for a dog to do. Does mine?

Does he heck.

Meat? Yes. Yoghurt? Yes. Anything else? ANYTHING? Lupo is really rubbish in this department, and that especially annoys me as someone who doesn’t put cleaning at the top of her hobby list. (before you recoil in horror, I realise dog saliva is not a substitute for bleach, honest). If you want a laugh, give Lupo a crisp. He will nibble at it like a Rabbit and spit each morsel out again. the absolute opposite to my parents Golden Retriever who eats anything and in lightening speed.

Lupo will show promising signs he’s cottoned on. He’ll barge us out of the way to ‘clean up’ after my daughter’s tea meets the dining room floor, but this is just for show. He’ll sniff, offer the odd lick then turn his nose up unless it is meat or yoghurt based. Bloody useless.

The Blankets

Another sweet, enduring Dobermann trait. Lupo needs approximately five blankets all at once. He will drag them all into the living room from his bed in the kitchen. He will then rag them so hard I watch his spit fly and land on our TV, white walls and sofas. I know, it’s grim. He’ll then pile them up by doing that weird digging thing, to gather them into just the right position. by now he has chosen one blanket to be THE ONE. The rest are merely to lie on, but one blanket is for sucking only. This is as weird as it sounds and just like a child with it’s thumb, Lupo needs a blanket to suck. We didn’t encourage this nor does it stem from any sort of trauma, he’s just always done it and will fall asleep with it in his mouth.

What’s annoying about that, you may ask? Well it means we have to take the bloody things everywhere we go with him, if he’s ever to relax at my in laws or stop hassling my parents dog to play, he needs a blanket to distract hime. This is also expensive. Even at Aldi these things are £8 each. And this racks up as he doesn’t just suck them, he will grind them on his back teeth, creating tiny holes everywhere, until they eventually fall apart after frequent washing by me as I gross out at the smelly things being in my living room.

Whipped and Flogged

I am whipped, on a daily basis. My family and friends have been whipped, my daughter has been whipped and the dog walker has been whipped. But before you call social services or indeed, Mr Grey, I am talking about the ridiculously long, boney tail of my dog that does the whipping.

I may have (more than once) cursed the law from 2007 that saw the ban of tail docking in the UK. I obviously agree with it, it’s barbaric and can affect dogs communicating with body language. But when you are whipped by an over excited dog. get woken up by him entering your bedroom and whipping the wardrobe doors, or watched as your favourite vase, cup of tea or treasured family photo in a glass frame is whipped across the room from the coffee table, you can kind of understand where those tail dockers were coming from. I mean, look at the size of the bloody thing…

Lupo #goprodogs #instadobes #goproadventures #Doberman #dogstagram

A photo posted by jessM5510 (@jessm5510) on


So tell me, does your dog do anything to annoy you, or do you think I’m being too harsh? Lupo is annoying, but we love him all the more for his weird traits. Who could resist putting up with this daft sod?

Enjoying our week off.

A photo posted by jessM5510 (@jessm5510) on

Have you ever fancied a home swap holiday?

The BBC are particularly interested in hearing from dog owners for their latest show. See if you fancy the sound of this…

BBC One’s Home Away from Home is back!

And we’re looking for people who want to try out a home swap holiday in the UK.

Do you live in a home you’d be happy to swap with someone elsewhere in the UK for a short break?

Would you like the chance to have a new experience and discover local cuisine, sight-seeing that goes beyond the guide book, and an authentic place to stay?

With Home Away from Home you could be enjoying a unique holiday experience in a stunning part of the UK…

For an application form or an initial chat, please get in touch right away!
Phone: 0208 008 1468

Pure Petfood review: Terrific Turkey

I’m going to start with the big problem about this food. You’ll know if you’ve ever added a bit of warm water to your dogs food, their noses will go crazy as the heat releases the smell. Well, adding warm water to Pure Petfood Terrific Turkey, drives my dog CRAZY.

The whining, oh the whining. He’s a whiner at the best of times for no apparent reason, but the ten minute wait for this dehydrated dog food, to rehydrate? Pure torture, apparently. You’d think I’d thrown away his favourite squirrel shaped chew toy that never leaves his side (that incidentally also makes a racquet with it’s annoying squeaker) But no. All I’m doing is enriching his life and det with human grade dog food and he can’t wait for it to be ready. He gave exactly the same reaction the first time around when we tested the chicken version.

Here’s how easy it is to prepare. Measure out your scoops. Add warm water. Give it ten mins to hydrate. Note the beady eyes and wet nose at kitchen worktop height…


Then serve…

Gone @pure_pet_food

A video posted by jessM5510 (@jessm5510) on


I’m sure you’ll agree, whining for ten minutes is a whole lot better than presenting your dog with food he turns his nose up at. That’s why we’re big fans of Pure Petfood.

To make your order visit:

Use code ” TRIAL” and recieve 20% off a 500g box.

PETA joins forces with world’s first challenge-based app, FightMe, to launch online anti-fur protest

Following its hugely successful ‘Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur’ campaign showing millions the cruel truth behind fur, PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organisation is today partnering with FightMe to launch its latest initiative on the war against fur.

  • Well known for its bold campaigns, the charity has enlisted the help of the world’s first challenge-based app, FightMe, to launch a thought-provoking video challenge calling for people to make a stand and spread its anti-fur message.
  • The first-of-its-kind online video protest will be kick-started by hard-core vegan and well known free-runner, Tim Shieff, who is seen plunging himself into a freezing cold reservoir, demonstrating the lengths he’s willing to go to for animal rights.
  • Participants will then be tasked with uploading a video of themselves showing what they’d rather wear, or do, than adorn fur.
  • The app’s social integration with Facebook and Twitter also means that anyone anywhere can join the challenge and nominate others into the protest directly.

FightMe encourages creative and passionate individuals to start a movement and join a cause, and the PETA partnership is the perfect platform to demonstrate its functionality.  Through a quick and simple smartphone app, FightMe makes capturing and sharing video fast, easy and relevant. Users have thirty seconds to create a video about whatever they want and can either start their own video challenge or join in one that is already live, like PETA’s latest anti-fur protest.  Through FightMe’s unique nomination feature, users are also prompted to take their challenge to the wider network of friends and followers through social profiles, SMS, Whatsapp or within FightMe directly.

Elisa Allen, Manager of Special Projects at PETA UK commented:

“Every fur coat and every bit of fur trim is the result of tremendous animal suffering – and takes away a life. Our goal is always to get this issue out there so that it can be considered and discussed, which will hopefully inspire change, and we’re excited to use FightMe to do just that.”

Jamie Lorenz, Founder of FightMe commented:

 “Millions of animals die every year as a result of the fur trade so working with PETA to create an impactful campaign that is a starting piston for a global movement that will change attitudes was a dream come true. Built on harnessing social power, FightMe focuses on ‘real’ social interaction online by creating a friendly environment for people to ‘join -in’, giving purpose and context to each and every video. Strength comes in numbers and the support of others participating in a challenge gives freedom of expression away from judgment.”

Tim Shieff, animal rights supporter commented:

 “For me, it’s not just about educating and informing people about animal cruelty, it’s about empowering them to join the fight against real fur and the maltreatment of animals. I’m working with PETA and FightMe to help kick-start a global protest that not only aims to change the way people view animal cruelty, but their behaviour too. Hopefully this campaign will mean the difference between life and death for countless animals.”