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.

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

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

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

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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

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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 dog.is 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”

Mobile Phone Enforcement – Vehicles

This is a hot issues for us drivers, especially professional haulage, bus and coach drivers just now, get yourself onto one of my driver cpc courses, we discus in great detail, and I can also make you aware of the equipment used to catch us, using our vehicles, whilst driving.

Police forces across the UK participated in a crackdown on illegal mobile phone use by drivers, in a series of targeted operations to prosecute offenders and drive home the risks and consequences of distracted driving.

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It comprised a combination of enforcement and education, with dedicated patrols by officers using unmarked vans, helmet cams, high-seated vehicles and high vantage points to catch offenders, and partnership working between police and paramedics to educate people of the risks.

The campaign also saw the use of variable message signs on prime commuter routes to display the message ‘Leave Your Phone Alone’, a pilot schemes with ‘community spotters’ to target repeat offenders and the use of social media videos and messages.

This was the second national week of action against drivers using mobile phones during 2016, with the first in May resulting in 2,323 offences detected.

Since then, the issue of illegal mobile phone usage by drivers has featured heavily in the media spotlight.

In September, the RAC claimed the illegal use of handheld mobile phones is at ‘epidemic proportions’, on the back of research which suggests 11 million motorists admitted to making or receiving a call while driving in the last 12 months.

After months of speculation, the Government as confirmed that it is planning to double the penalties for those caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Announced on 8th November as part of a response into a consultation on the issue, the move means that those found committing the offence will be docked six points and receive a £200 fine.

Keep you eye on this blog, on future developments.

Keep it simple, switch your phone off in the car.

Mobile Phone Film

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Mobile Phones Update

Mobile phones – You receive a call or text, yes, I’m not going to answer it! I wonder who it is, perhaps it’s serious, life threatening, maybe I just a take peak at the text! 

It isn’t just making a call on a mobile phone that you cause an accident, it’s all the other distractions that may make you lose your concentration, that in-coming call or text, could result in a crash.

KEEP YOUR MOBILE PHONE OFF, WHILST DRIVING!

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What the law says

  • It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving.
  • This includes using your mobile phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
  • If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 3 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
  • If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose you licence.
  • You may use a hands-free phone while driving but you can still be prosecuted if you’re not in proper control of your vehicle. The penalties are same as being caught using a handheld phone.
  • The penalties for driving carelessly or dangerously when using a handheld or hands-free phone can include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.

Continue reading “Mobile Phones Update”

Dog Facts

  • Domestication of the dog began around 15,000 years ago and during this process, humans selected for particularly desirable traits such as coat colour and leg length.
  • This selection process has resulted in over 400 different breeds of dog, 209 are recognised by the UK Kennel Club.
  • Dogs have an incredibly well-developed sense of smell, far superior to humans.
  • At certain frequencies, dogs can detect sounds up to four times quieter than humans can hear. Dogs can also hear in ultrasound, which is sound with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing.
  • Dogs can see better than humans in dark and dim light.
  • Communication is very important in helping dogs form and maintain social groups.
  • To transmit scent information, dogs use urine, faeces and secretions from special scent glands.
  • Many dogs can use their body, face, tail, ears and limbs to communicate with other dogs.
  • The fastest recorded speed for a greyhound is 42 miles per hour, similar to that of a mounted racehorse, which can reach speeds of around 43 miles per hour.
  • Dogs actively seek information about their surroundings and will spend much time investigating and exploring.

New law to crack down on puppy farms

New law to crack down on puppy farms by the government will introduce tougher dog breeding licensing rules in what is being described as the biggest reform of the pet trade in 20 years.

The new rules will make it illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks and require anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year to apply for a formal licence.

Those needing a licence, including online sellers, will also be required to display their permit in any advertising, and to give owners information about the five welfare needs that owners must meet under the Animal Welfare Act.

The penalty for breaking the new law will be an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison.

The plans also cover how pet shops, boarding houses and riding stables are licensed, introducing a single ‘animal activities licence’ to improve the process and make enforcement easier.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “Everyone who owns a pet or is looking to introduce one into their life will want to know that the animal has the very best start to life. Yet for thousands of puppies born each year to irresponsible breeders, from smaller operations to larger puppy farms, their first weeks are spent in cramped and squalid conditions without the care and attention they need. That is why we are cracking down on the worst offenders by strengthening the dog breeding licence and giving councils the power they need to take action.

Gudrun Ravetz, President of the British Veterinary Association, said “This is a significant step in the right direction to improve the welfare of puppies and dogs in the UK, an issue our members are extremely concerned about as increasing numbers of poorly bred puppies are brought into veterinary practices.

“Poorly bred and badly socialised puppies cause terrible health and welfare problems for dogs so it is right that Defra has made irresponsible dog breeding a priority. We particularly welcome the move to make the sale of a puppy under eight weeks illegal, the reduction in the number of litters bred requiring a formal breeder’s licence, and the moves towards a single animal activities licence. In the future we would also like to see that anyone breeding from a dog should be required to register with their local authority.

“For these new measures to work in practice local authorities must have the necessary resources and support to fully enforce the legislation, supported by local veterinary expertise.

“We hope the new legislation will encourage owners to stop and think about where they’re getting their puppies from to tackle irresponsible breeding both at home and abroad. Prospective owners should do their homework.”

The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust have also welcomed the announcement.

Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden said; “As the UK’s largest welfare charity, Dogs Trust welcomes the Government’s review of animal establishments licensing in England and the range of measures it sets out.

“We are particularly pleased that it will be illegal to sell a puppy below the age of 8 weeks and that there will be tighter licensing rules which will require sellers of pets to display their licence when advertising. We also applaud the move towards a risk based single licensing system which will incorporate those breeders that have gained UKAS approval rather than exempting them.

We believe that Local Authority Inspectors need support to enforce these tighter licensing rules. As such, moves to mandate the use of Model Conditions and for inspectors to be offered training and standards to be set is most welcome.”