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  1. 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?

    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.

  2. With summer almost upon us, many of us are thinking about what we’re going to do with regards to our holiday this year. The weather has been kind to us so far, and this means that excitement is starting to brew knowing that walks on the beach or in the countryside are only just around the corner. It is a great time to start thinking about your plans so that you can book your holiday for summer 2017.

    If you have a dog, you may wish that you could take them with you – yet many people don’t know how to make this wish a reality. If you leave them at home, whether with a family member or in kennels, not only would you miss them, but you are also likely to take time out of your holiday to get in touch with people at home and ask about how they’re doing. Not only would it put your mind at rest if you took them with you, but you would also be able to save money on kennel fees too, which is an added bonus.

    Holiday Preparation

    When you’re taking your dog on holiday with you, preparation really is key. You need to make sure that you are both ready for anything that might happen. This is even more important to consider when you remember that your dog is going to be experiencing an unfamiliar routine, in strange surroundings, so make sure to use this to your advantage to pack for anything which may cause a hurdle in your break away:

    - The weather makes all the difference. Have a look at the forecast before you go, and think about what you would do to keep your dog entertained if the weather decided to take a turn for the worst. Nothing is worse than a bored and energetic dog in a confined space.

    - Take a look at the facilities that are available. Is there somewhere dedicated to dog walks on site? Will you be given food and water bowls?

    - Make sure you have enough of everything. Running out of bags whilst on a walk makes for embarrassing and sometimes costly situations. You should also make sure you have a spare lead and collar in case something should happen to your only one whilst you’re out for the day. Take plenty of towels and sponges, as seaside trips always urge the temptation for a quick dip.

    - Don’t forget your dog’s medication if they have any. It can be easy to let this slip your mind, but it is important that they are able to keep up to date with any treatment that they might be having while they are away.

    - Ensure that you take enough food with you for your dog. A change in food could result in your dog having an upset stomach, which will put as unpleasant spin on both of your holiday.

    Safety and Security

    When you and your dog are at home, you will be confident that they are safe, and you will be knowledgeable about any potential dangers that could be in the vicinity. However, when you’re on holiday you don’t have this knowledge to your advantage, and this means that you need to take extra care to make sure that they’re safe. Dog’s love to explore new surroundings and this comes with the risk of them getting lost or wandering out of sight.

    Before you leave, you should be confident that your dog comes back to you when called – no matter what might be distracting them at the time. If you’re not completely comfortable in the knowledge that they will come back to you, it might be a better idea to put your dog on an extendable lead if they are a smaller breed, as they will still be able to roam, but you will know that they are still within your control. If you have a larger breed of dog, make sure to let them off in an enclosed area, large enough to have a good run around but without running the risk of losing them. Make sure to take a photo of your dog with you, so that if he or she decides to run off, you will be able to ask for help to find them.

    Many of us forget just how hot our British summers can get and how this heat can affect our dogs. When out for the day, you should take a water bowl with you for your dog, and make sure that you always have some bottled water with you on walks in case they need a drink. This will help to prevent dehydration.

    Additionally, in the countryside, particularly in summer, there are lots of things around that could sting your dog. Therefore, you should pack suitable treatments prior to your trip so that you have them to hand if this happens.

    When you’re planning your routes, you should take a look at main roads, dangerous cliff edges, and anything that could catch you out. Remember that your dog is completely new to these surroundings, and may not understand where they should and shouldn’t go.

    Making the most of your time away

    It often seems as though the build-up to a holiday drags, but then the event itself is over in a heartbeat. It can be frustrating to get home and realise that you hadn’t made the most of the time you had – so for this reason you should make a plan.

    Doing some research about where you’re going is essential. You should think about any days out that you’d like to go on, and make sure that anywhere you’re visiting allows dogs. It’s a good idea to pinpoint dog-friendly pubs in the area, so you will always have somewhere to go if you need a break. There will be many different events going on during the holiday season, lots of which your dog will be able to enjoy by your side. For this reason you should make sure that you have done your research, as this will mean that you won’t have to miss out on anything.

    A dog is very much a member of the family, and for this reason they often add a huge amount of enjoyment to your holiday while you’re away. You will be able to enjoy watching them explore their new surroundings – something that is very exciting for dogs – and you won’t have any of the worry about what might be happening while they’re at home. With a little bit of forward planning, you should find that you can have a wonderful holiday with your dog, that you will all be able to enjoy.

     

    Kindly written for The Pet Shed by Holly Barry | Digital PR Executive | Distinctly PR
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