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  1. Whilst playing in the park with my friends the other day I got to thinking about where we all came from and how much we are loved. I am reliably informed that as a nation of animal lovers 40% of homes have a pet with just under 1 in 4 households having a dog and 1 in 5 having a cat and last year £6bn was spent on us!

    More than ever we are seen as members of the family we are a huge responsibility both in time and cost, with a dog or cat costing an average of £17,000 during its lifetime.

    The biggest one off cost of a dog (ignoring vets bills) is likely to be the original purchase price so if you are planning on buying a puppy from a breeder do make sure that you get your puppy from a reputable source by visiting the breeder and are not unwittingly funding puppy farms. Check out the RSPCAs guide to buying a puppy for more information

    Many of my friends have been rescued and this is a cheaper options with payment usually in the form of a donation. Lots of organisations, such as Allsorts dog rescue ( foster in people homes so the fear that “you don’t know what you are getting” does not have to be a worry.

    Whatever route you choose always welcome your dog into your home with lots of affection and be prepared to fall in love with us!

  2. Something has been bothering me lately. No, not the US election or the impact of Brexit but those pesky little critters called fleas. Even the cleanest of households can’t escape the odd visitor hitching a ride and as they can thrive all year round I want to tell you my top tips for prevention of fleas.

    First, check to see if your pet has fleas by standing him on a light towel or piece of paper and combing him. Pay special attention to the base of the tail where fleas particularly like to hang out.

    If you find fleas you can use various treatments to kill them. Ask your vet or local pet shop for advice and remember to treat the home as well as fleas will spend most of their life in your carpet or cracks in floorboards only hopping on your pet for dinner!

    Even if you don’t find fleas a natural preventive can help you keep them at bay. Look for products that contain neem oil, and always follow the instructions.

    Ticks are also a problem and can be picked up from walks in long grass. If you find a tick use a specialise tool to remove it to ensure the whole tick is removed. Most flea treatments will kill ticks too.

    Finally, do remember to use the right product for the right pet. Some flea and tick products formulated for dogs are highly toxic to cats so always check.