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How to Participate in National Pet Remembrance Day

All pet owners know that after introducing an animal into their home, these furry, scaly or feathered friends swiftly become part of the family. They’re there for us when we’re down, never judgemental and always around to lighten the mood. It’s therefore always a difficult time when a pet dies. Although it’s now acceptable to grieve for the loss of our beloved pets, many of us are confused about how to properly approach the process. That’s why Pets Magazine and Lars Anderson, founder of the company Arty Lobster, launched National Pet Remembrance Day. The day is celebrated on the 5th July to ‘create a space for people to remember their departed companion animal’. So how should you go about commemorating your beloved pets?

 

In Memory of…  

 

One wonderful way to celebrate the life of your animal companion is by holding a memorial service in their honour. You could hold the service where your pet most enjoyed playing or walking. Each person that attends could then share a cherished memory of your pet. Another great way to celebrate the life of your pet is by planting a living memorial such as a tree or flowerbed. This could be where your pet was buried or where they loved to play. If the memorial service doesn’t feel right for you, you could celebrate the life of your pet by sharing fond memories of them on social media, via the hashtag #PetRememberanceDay, or creating an online memorial in their honour.

Memento Mori

Whilst it’s nice to celebrate your pet with a memorial service, you may want to keep a reminder of your pet close to you. In this case, you should consider having a memento mori made. This could take the form of a coaster, key ring or other accessory, printed with a photograph of your pet. If you do decide to share memories of your pet via the aforementioned hashtag, you would also automatically nominate your pet to be immortalised in 3D by Arty Lobster. If your pet is chosen, Arty Lobster will fashion the image of your pet into a three-dimensional sculpture, so that you’ll never be far from your beloved friend.

Volunteer

One really lovely way to remember all that your furry friend did for you, is by giving back to other pets that haven’t been so lucky. In 2015 the RSPCA investigated almost 150,000 animal cruelty complaints in the UK, with dogs bearing the brunt of the abuse. In fact, every hour of every day the RSPCA receives 16 new cases of animal cruelty to investigate. Whilst this is a terrifying prospect, there are plenty of ways that you could turn it around for some of these animals. Research local volunteering opportunities by entering your post-code on Do-it.org or your local RSPCA branch. You could spend the day feeding and bathing animals in need, or simply giving them some much needed affection.

 

If you’re below the age of 16, volunteering opportunities within shelters can be scarce. However, there are other ways you could help out by fundraising for animal charities for example. Why not make Pet Remembrance Day a day of celebration and organise a sponsored walk or a bake sale?

memory

Adopt a Companion

If you’re a really avid pet lover and feel like volunteering doesn’t quite go far enough, you could consider adopting or rehoming an animal from your local animal shelter. Around 5000 dogs are put to sleep each year in the UK because they were unable to find new homes, this equates to around 14 dogs a day. So what better way to show your appreciation for your dearly departed pet, than by saving the life of an animal in dire need of some care and attention? Before adopting or rehoming a pet it is important to consider if you have the time, patience and means to care for animal that may be traumatised or frightened. However, if you feel up to the task why not save one of these pets on National Pet Remembrance day, in memory of all that your animals have done for you in the past.

 

Ultimately, National Pet Remembrance Day is about showing our appreciation for our much loved, animal friends. Owners of pets who have passed on should feel free to express grief for the loss of a companion who brought them much comfort and love. If you are struggling with bereavement from the loss of a pet you can contact PDSA, who offer much needed advice and support through such difficult times. But even if you haven’t recently lost a pet, National Pet Remembrance Day is all about coming together to show our mutual appreciate for the animals that have been, or are currently in our lives.

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Upset Tummy by Nelson the Schnauzer

rr

I’ve not been feeling well; a bit of a tummy ache and interesting things happening at the other end…been wondering if it is something to do with the delicious morsel of smelly loveliness I ate off the pavement yesterday but anyhoo…

Fortunately my hu-man has noticed I am a little off colour so has left me plenty of fresh water and has let me have lots of alone time while I try and get better.

Upset tummies are part of a dog’s life and generally speaking we recover within 24 hours. If things don’t improve after 24 hours you could try a starvation diet (just water) for 12 – 24 hours, then introduce plain chicken and rice (in a ratio of 1:2) or some Lilys Kitchen recover recipe, which contains a probiotic, feeding small amounts 3-4 times a day. Do make sure your pooch is drinking water and if he becomes lethargic, bites his side, has a fever or there is any sign of blood get him to the vets.

Upset tummies can be caused by many things. That tasty morsel I spoke of earlier, a nasty bug or an intolerance to certain foods. If it’s persistent it may be worth looking at diet or getting some tests done by the vet.

Prevention is, of course, better than a cure so always keep food poisonous to dogs out of reach (chocolate, raisins, grapes, avocado, cooked bones, mushrooms, xylitol).  There are a few natural remedies such as Digestive Tablets or Tree bark Powder that can help maintain a healthy tummy and it’s always worth keeping a supply of Recovery Recipe in the cupboard.

Hmm, perhaps I do fancy a little bit of chicken and rice …

Nelson was talking to Hannah James, dog translator and owner of The Pet Shed, 100 Preston Drove, BN1 6EW. Tel: 01273 554164

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Kids and Dogs

 

The kids are going back to school this week, flocking to the gates in their shiny shoes and new winter coats. Lots of parents take their dogs on the school run and whilst it pays to be cautious around unfamiliar dogs the following do’s and don’ts will help when introducing children to dogs for the first time.

  1. Do teach children to treat all animals with respect. Be polite and kind and remember that animals communicate in different ways.
  2. Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog who is on their own. Wait until the owner is there and then ask if it is OK to say hello.
  3. Do let a dog approach you and offer your hand for a dog to sniff before petting them. Watch for any signs that they do not want to be petted and respect this.
  4. Don’t make any sudden movements or loud noises. School is a busy time and a bit overwhelming particularly for small or young dogs. Be calm, and speak in a calm voice.
  5. Do pet correctly. Try stroking under the chin or on the sides of the dog.
  6. Don’t stand over a dog or look directly in his eyes. This can be threatening.
  7. Don’t approach a dog if you are eating and put toys away.
  8. Do be aware of any dogs wearing yellow, particularly a lead or a bandana. These are often nervous or poorly dogs that need their space.

Dogs are social animals who love human contact but always check with the owner first and encouraging your child to do this will hopefully lead to a lifelong love of dogs and other animals.