Fun Facts About Dogs

Pet First Aid 2015

The world’s smartest dogs are thought to be (1) the border collie, (2) the poodle, and (3) the golden retriever.


A dog’s smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human’s


Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine (similar to caffeine) which can kill dogs or at the very least make them violently ill.


David gets great reviews for his Pet and Canine Pet First Aid Courses


David presented the information very clearly and made the course very interesting . It was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and had personal experience with regard to pet first aid.

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2015 for Pet First Aid course
What a terrific experience! David was very knowledgeable. He was friendly, kind and could effortlessly hold the attention of others. I can’t recommend him highly enough. Thank you David!
Reviewed on 18 Jul 2015 for Pet First Aid course

Very intuitive and happy to answer all your questions. Professional and willing to make sure you get the most out of the course and leave feeling ready to take care of any situation.

Reviewed on 14 Jul 2015 for Pet First Aid course.
Pet First Aid 2015


Pet obesity still the biggest UK welfare problem

For the second year running, vets say that obesity is the biggest health and welfare concern for the UK’s pets.

Almost two thirds of those polled for an annual British Veterinary Association (BVA) survey cited obesity as the issue they were most worried about. It’s an issue that the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association has been tackling for seven years.

“As with humans, obesity is a very series health issue for pets and can lead to lifelong and life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, breathing problems, diabetes and arthritis,” said a (BVA) spokesman. “Not following or understanding guidelines, providing too many treats and snacks, and a lack of exercise are all contributing issues. Many owners also give their pets human food as a treat; one biscuit can aquate to a whole packet when fed to an animal.”

A key finding in this survey points to a lack of understanding around what constitutes a healthy size.

Some vets and pet charity organisations have created a range of tools, including Pet Size-O-Meters, to help owners maximise the well-being and life expectancy of their pets. Treating with unsuitable ‘human’ foods and guesstimating portion sizes are also key factors.

The research also shows, that although there is a greater awareness of obesity and its consequences among owners, this isn’t really translating in to action and we believe a collaborative response from the pet care sector is important to address this.

Obesity is common in dogs. Gudrun Ravetz, president of the BVA, said it is vital that the correct body weight and feeding habits are established from puppyhood and that owners understand dogs must be given the right food for their age, breed and size alongside getting enough exercise.

“Using body condition, scoring allows vets and owners to assess and monitor a dog’s weight and can be applied to any breed”.


Dog Law = Dog Sales Contracts, Disputes

How the law views a dog

The law considers dogs to be ‘chattels’ – items of property other than land. Dogs are viewed as tangible goods which can be bought and sold or given away. Consequently, any dispute arising from the sale or gift of a dog is likely to be dealt with by the courts in exactly the same manner as an action involving any other ‘goods’ e.g. a washing machine or a car.

Private sale or consumer sales?

The law differentiates between sales by a Trader to a consumer and similar transaction between private individuals. For sales by a trader, consumers have additional statutory protection in the forms of terms which are implied into a contract under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015). For such consumer contracts the goods must be:-

  • of satisfactory quality
  • fit for purpose
  • as described by the seller

The buyer must prove to the court that the seller was selling as a “trader” and that they bought the dog as a consumer. Under the CRA 2015 a consumer has the right to reject goods which are not of satisfactory quality, fir for purpose, or as described within a 30-day period and to demand a refund of the purchase price. After than 30 days has expired this entitlement to a full refund ends.

The buyer may require the seller to remedy any fault (if possible) or to replace the ‘goods’ – tis may not be considered acceptable by the buyer who is likely to have already formed a close bond with the a question of fact and degree as to whether a court may consider an issue such as a dog’s temperament to be a fault sufficient to constitute a dog ‘not of satisfactory quality’ or ‘fit for purpose’. Arguably if a dog has been described as having a temperament which is clearly does not display then it may be considered as ‘not a described’ but this will depend on the evidence.

If the buyer is not able to prove that the seller was selling in his capacity as a ‘trader’ to the buyer as a ‘consumer’ the CRA 2015 will not apply. In these cases there are no implied conditions and the legal principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is likely to apply which will mean that the buyer is unlikely to have at legal remedy.

Legal Aid is highly unlikely for a civil case in which case you are either going to have to pursue it yourself of by paying for Solicitors to act on your behalf.


Dog Law

Microchipping – All dogs in the UK have to be microchipped and registered in the name of the keeper.

  • Puppies have to be microchipped by the age of 8 weeks and the keeper must ensure that their name, address and contact details are kept up to date.
  • It is an offence to fail to report an adverse event (microchip not working; the dog having a health condition attributable to the implantation; the microchip having migrated).
  • It is an offence for a keeper to transfer a dog that hasn’t been microchipped and so a breeder must ensure a dog is microchipped and registered to them on the database before sale.
  • The Council or the Police may service a Notice requiring the keeper to get a dog microchipped or to update the database and if they fail to comply that will be a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £500.

For more information, check out the Dogs Trust Website

Continue reading “Dog Law”

Driver Distraction

There has been much attention about driver distraction due to the use of mobile phones in vehicles, but increasingly research is also revealing the dangers of other forms of driver multi-tasking, and its contribution to road accidents.

What is Distraction?

A driver is distracted when they pay attention to a second activity while driving. People cannot always safely multi-task in this way, especially if the second activity is time consuming or complex.

The second activity puts extra demands on the driver, which may reduce his or her driving standard. For example, it may cause the driver to become less observant or to make worse decisions about how to control the vehicle safely. This lower standard of driving means that a driver is more likely to fail to anticipate hazards, and means accidents can occur due to the distraction.

In theory, there are as many potential causes of distraction as there are things to which drivers could pay attention. In reality, however, drivers tend to prioritise information so that they pay the most attention to information or activities needed for driving.

Distraction can be either initiated (where the driver starts carrying out a distracting activity) or non-driver initiated (the unpredictable actions of something or someone else).

Objects, events or activities both inside and outside the vehicle can cause distraction. In vehicle distractions can be caused by technology, or by other sources inside the vehicle such as passengers. External distractions may be when a driver concentrates on unimportant events or objects, or when another person does something unusual.

Accident Statistics

There have been a range of estimations about the number of accidents that are caused by, or contributed to, by driver distraction. It is hard to make an accurate estimate as accident databases are generally constructed from reports following an accident and it is probable that not every driver admits to being distracted or inattentive at the time of the accident.


Types of Driver Distraction

  • Visual
  • Cognitive
  • Biomechanical
  • Auditory

An activity can create multiple types of distraction – for example, using a hand-held mobile phone while driving creates a biomechanical, auditory and cognitive distraction.

Visual distraction occurs when a driver sees objects or events and this impairs the driver’s observations of the road environment.

Concern about visual distraction is not new  – when windscreen wipers were first introduced, there was concern over their potentially hypnotic effect.

The way that a driver observes the area around the vehicle depends on how complex it is, and in complex environments, drivers can find it more difficult to identify the main hazards.

In undemanding situations, driver’s attention tends to wander towards objects or scenery that are not part of the driving task. Estimates how much time drivers spend doing this varies from between 20% and 50%.

Cognitive distraction occurs when a driver is thinking about something not related to driving the vehicle.

This means that drivers who are cognitively impaired will spend less time checking mirrors or looking around for hazards.

Biomechanical distraction is caused when a driver is doing something physical that is not related to driving, for example, reaching for something and be out of the driving position, or holding an item.

Auditory distraction is caused when sounds prevent drivers from making the best use of their hearing, because their attention has been drawn to whatever caused the sound.

Effects of Distraction

Cognitive distraction causes drivers to look at their mirrors, instrument panels and what’s happening in the environment around them much less; instead they concentrate their observations straight ahead, and so are more likely to detect hazards later than they would otherwise have done.

Worryingly, distracted drivers underestimate the effects that distraction has on them, and do not perceive their reduced awareness or their ability to spot hazards. This may be because they are still looking at the road straight ahead and are not gathering the whole picture of the road around the vehicle.

Drivers who are distracted also have difficulty controlling their speed and their distance from the vehicle in front, and their lane position can vary drastically.

The more complex or involved a driver becomes with a distraction, the more detrimental the distraction is on their ability to make observations and control the vehicle safely.

The Law

There are general laws that require drivers to be attentive and not engage in distracting activities. Distracted drivers could be charged with a range of offences, Dangerous Driving, Careless and Inconsiderate Driving, Failure to Be In Proper Control of the Vehicle, or Driving Without Due Care and Attention depending on how badly the distraction affected their driving.

The Construction and Use Regulations prevent the use of certain types of technology in vehicles – for example, hand held mobile phones, and it is illegal to use certain types of televisions in vehicles.

When a driver is at work, their employer also has a responsibility towards the safety of their employees, and the people they share the road with, and need to be put in place all ‘reasonably practicable’ safety measures on work related journeys.

This includes making sure that drivers are aware of the dangers of distraction, are trained to deal with it, and are trained in the safe use of any in vehicle technology which may cause a distraction.

Dealing With Distraction

Distraction is a difficult risk to manage. On the one hand, some level of distraction is unavoidable, but drivers can take some simple steps to avoid becoming distracted.

If you need to something distracting, find a safe place to pull over.

Concentrate on your driving

This is easier said than done, especially in uninteresting environments. However, attention to thought can reduce the quality of the observations that you make. It may be difficult to stop yourself becoming distracted but if you find yourself engaged in thought or distracted by other means, then it is important to focus on your driving as soon as you realise.

Make sure that you are ready to drive before setting off for a journey. If you are about to drive after an emotional event, then it is best to allow yourself time to cool down.

Use technology sensibly

In-Vehicle technology can be distracting, especially if there are several systems in the same vehicle. Never put too many different devices in a vehicle. If you can change the settings on the technology, then find ways of using it that is less distracting.

Plan your route in advance

All drivers dedicate a certain amount of time to navigating, this is unavoidable, but there are things you can do to reduce the time you spend navigating. By planning your route in advance and making sure you have a good idea of the directions, you may be able to reduce the time you spend looking for signs and road markings, and plan manoeuvres earlier.

Take refresher of further driver training

We all pick up bad habits over the years, several of which may be a result or cause of distraction. Refresher of further driver training can help drivers to build on the skills they have to prioritise events around a vehicle, predict hazards, and decide the safest course of action on the road.

Motorway driving

The UK motorway system has expanded and evolved over the past 50 years and is now a very different place from the early motorways on the 1960s and 1970s. Changes have included variable speed limits, a move away from the standard two or three lane format, and increased use of complex junctions and filter lane systems. To ease congestion, some stretches of the major motorways have been widened to four or even five lanes, making drivers think more carefully about their lane choices. There has also been a push to combat ‘middle-lane hogging’, which is now an offence. Traffic patrols target those who obstruct the flow of traffic by occupying an inappropriate lane.

Accident records show that, statistically, motorways are the safest roads in the UK. However, motorways incidents often involve several fast-moving vehicles and consequently result in more serious injuries and damage than collisions on other roads.

There’s often little room for error when driving fast on a motorway. The generally higher speeds and the volume of traffic mean that conditions can change much more quickly on motorways than on other roads. Because of this you need to be

  • totally alert
  • physically fit
  • concentrating fully
  • assessing well ahead.

If you aren’t, you may fail to react quickly enough to any sudden change in traffic conditions.


Continue reading “Motorway driving”