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  The Growing Craze for small dog breeds

Australian dog owners are opting for smaller pets, claims recent research from the University of Sydney. Findings published in the journalCanine Genetics and Epidemiologysuggest that Oz has fallen in love with brachycephalic breeds such as pugs and bulldogs.

The report, which was co-authored by Professor Paul McGreevy and PhD candidate Kendy Teng, looked into changes in Australian National Kennel Council registration between 1986 and 2013. According to the University of Sydney, it accounted for just 16.5 percent of newborn puppies in 2014 so may only be representative of pure breed trends.

Smaller ‘designer’ dogs have also seen increasing interest in the UK. The RSPCA’s report Sold a Pup?, released earlier this year, suggested that registered breeders were struggling to keep up with demand for certain breeds. French bulldogs, Pomeranians, shih-tzus, Yorkshire terriers, and pugs were all noted for their popularity.

So, why are these smaller dogs so loved? Professor McGreevy suggests that their big-eyed, round-cheeked “infantile facial features” may be one of the factors to appeal to owners.
Source: UK Pet Gazette

Use Indoor Exercise For Dogs During Wild Weather
Lucy Andrews

When the weather gets wild, the beaches might be too windy, or the roads are too snow-covered for usual outdoor walks. Australian pet owners need to find alternative ways to give dogs exercise. The correct amount of training can prevent dog obesity as well as hyperactivity. Here are some ideas for indoor activities for your furry friend.

Before We Start

Before diving into indoor activity ideas for your dog, it is important to note that all dogs are different regarding what level and amount of exercise they can tolerate. For example, dogs with short noses (the brachycephalic breeds) like pugs and bulldogs, can only get limited amounts of air through their nasal passages so they cannot run as far or fast as other breeds.

Besides breeding, your dog might also have limited activity tolerance because of age or a medical condition. Old, injured, or sick dogs still need exercise, but the type and duration will be specific. Some exercises can help to ease the pain of a condition -- like swimming for arthritis. Work with your vet to figure out what types of activities will be best for your specific pet.

Indoor Exercise Ideas For Your Dog

After discussing your pup’s exercise routine with your vet, you can start to work on some indoor activities. Here are some options.

Hide And Seek

Have your dog sit and stay while you hide. Then, call your dog to you. When your dog finds you provide a reward in the form of a treat or a game of tug. This is a great way to practice recalls and get some mileage in around the house.

Scent Play

Hide your pup’s favourite treats around the house. Your dog will have to sniff out the hidden treat -- travelling upstairs and into different rooms in the meantime.

Canine Treadmill

There are many different kinds of treadmill designs for dogs. Some look like giant hamster wheels, while others are a lot like human treadmills. Be sure to check the weight limit before purchasing.

Most “hyper” dogs are under exercised. If you notice that your dog is displaying inappropriate biting behaviour or other signs of hyperactivity, consider including more exercise in his or her routine. Exercise also prevents obesity. Even if the weather outside is preventing walks in the fresh air, you can do activities like hiding and seek, scent work, and treadmill runs. This will help your pup stay calm, happy and healthy. 

US News

88 percent of dog owners bought food in stores in 2017

Packaged Facts reported this data in Pet Food in the U.S., 13th Edition.

While pet food e-commerce has been a blazing hot trend for pet food sales, don’t nail shut the coffin on physical stores just yet. An overwhelming majority of Americans still purchase pet food in stores – 88 percent of dog owners and 93 percent of cat owners purchased in a store in the last 12 months, as reported in Packaged Facts’ report Pet Food in the US, 13th Edition.

In addition, 76 percent of dog owners and 81% of cat owners purchase all of their dog/cat food in a physical store, without pre-ordering it anywhere else.

Millennials buying pet food online

Not surprisingly, Millennials are the most comfortable with non-traditional buying options. They are more likely than other age cohorts to purchase through a website or app for home delivery. They are also more likely than others to buy online for pickup in a store.

Indeed, while pet specialty retailers spent much of 2017 beefing up their online offerings, they weren’t ignoring brick-and-mortar by any means. PetSmart opened its 1,600th store in late 2017, adding 63 in the first three quarters of 2017. Petco now operates more than 1,500 stores, and Pet Supplies Plus added its 400th location in May 2017. Maybe there’s something to having a physical presence. Just look at the biggest e-commerce player of them all – Amazon – which gave a big vote of confidence to brick and mortar with its purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.  And during the holiday season, Walmart used its 3,500-supercenter reach in the U.S. to offer store pickup of orders until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. So, while e-commerce continued its gains in 2017, physical stores remain a vital part of the sales mix.

Source: Pet Food
Amazon is not infallible, it is not invincible and is not necessarily the cheapest.
The Tuesday, 5 December 2017: the launch in Australia of Amazon marketplace highlighted several deficiencies, inadequacies and vulnerabilities.
Access to the site was not readily achievable, comparison-pricing underscored, so that, in some instances, entities that were utilising the Amazon marketplace channel were more expensive than local bricks and mortar retail outlets.
Delivery standards were not nationally or universally consistent.
Doubtless, many first-time prospective customers left the site disappointed, disillusioned and still in need of products, services and applications.
The Amazon marketplace launch in Australia was a limited opening. Amazon Prime and Fulfilment by Amazon (BBA) were not operating, while access was denied to, which operates from the United States of America.
Partial “soft” and rolling launches are fraught with danger. It’s true, you only ever get one opportunity to create the first impression.
Losses of image, reputation, expectations, sales, referrals and recommendations would have been immediate, and considerable.
Winning back the disenchanted will be less rapid.
For many despairing retailers and prophets of doom it was sobering to realise that, notwithstanding the commencement of Amazon operations in Australia, the earth still turned on its axis and the sun rose in the east.
Hope springs eternal. Competitive edge is still possible for big and small businesses which are committed to lifting their standards, updating their business models, reviewing their pricing policies and establishing, and sustaining the enhanced relationships with existing, prospective and past customers – founded on consistent, high-standard personal customer service.
The prospects for, and subsequent reality of losses to new interlopers like Aldi, Costco, numerous fast fashion outlets and Amazon were, and are the consequences of the poor, inconsistent and impersonal service of existing bricks and mortar and on-line businesses.
In each case the decline in sales, failures and appointments of administrators was simply a matter of time.
Consumer annoyance, frustration and intolerance have increased substantially during the past decade. Local and localised Australian entities were insulated, if not protected, by geographic isolation.
That changed significantly with the advent of on-line channels and digital marketing. Convenience was usurped by access.
Range, choice, power extended beyond physical premises, warehouses and inventories.
A slow, under-resourced and inadequately capitalised uptake of an on-line business model, by long-established and recognised traders, simply lowered the barriers, accelerated the entry of global interlopers and disruptors.
Correspondingly, and in part as a consequence of management inaction, for the first time in over 20 years, price eclipsed branding as the third most important criterion in purchase decision making.
Everything, it seems, has changed, necessitating a total audit of marketing, advertising, merchandising, promotions, selling, service, operating, stocking, pricing and staffing. 
Without question, a primary cause of revenue and patronage leakage to new, often global, entrants is the disturbingly regular instances of negative shopping experiences. Allow me to reiterate a quote from the high-impact, dynamic Business Warfare interactive business development workshop:
            We have met the enemy,
            and they is us.
Attacking, competing with, and beating Amazon will not, and cannot be achieved by focusing on where Amazon is strongest. That is - low prices, a huge range, house- branded products and services, prompt responses and access.
The best, most immediate and scalable opportunity is personal customer service.
On-line interactions lack the emotional experiences that flow from personalised encounters. They tend to be transactional in nature, with relationships being compromised, loyalty and repeat business a forlorn hope, and everything focused on NOW.
Sadly, opportunities are lost because of service myopia. A narrow orientation on direct, immediate transactional interchanges precludes recognition of, and exploitation of seven key elements of service excellence.
Managing expectations is a fundamental pillar of attracting attention, interest, visitations, sales, revenue and repeat business.
Stimulating intrigue is fulfilling to prospective customers and satisfying for businesses.
Communications, punctuality, consistency and continuity are compelling foundations on which to position brand names, products, services and applications. To do so effectively and efficiently, then formulating, documenting, implementing, monitoring, enhancing and maintaining a genuine service culture is imperative.
Service is integral to the DNA of a business. It is not an add-on. Consistent with the culture itself, service is, could be and should be the force that binds individuals, groups and total entities to the ideals, beliefs and values of customer focus.
A key feature of an integrated and cohesive service culture ensures that two biggest deficiencies of many operations do not evolve. It is these that make companies most vulnerable, and typically, un-performing.
So, businesses survive and thrive in the presence of Amazon. Those that do best, lift their sights, standards and disciplines – to the benefit of all.
Services them right!
Barry Urquhart
Conference Keynote Speaker
Service Excellence Facilitation
Customer Service Author
Marketing Focus
M:        041 983 5555
T:         9257 1777

KKR sells off remaining Pets at Home stake

The shares were worth £108 million

American private equity firm KKR has sold off its remaining 12.3 percent stake in Pets at Home.

This amounted to 62 million shares in the pet supplies retailer, which fell 2.65 percent in London trading. Shares were worth 174p each at the time, raising £108m.

Merrill Lynch International and Numis Securities acted as joint bookrunners on the placing and the retailer will not receive any of the proceeds of the sale.

The proceeds will be payable in cash on usual settlement terms, and is expected to close later this month.

KKR acquired Pets at Home in 2010, after it bought it from Bridgepoint for £955m and the retailer floated on the stock market in 2014.

Ian Kellett, chief executive officer, said: “We again saw the benefits of our omnichannel capabilities, providing customers with innovative and convenient ways to shop, particularly through order in-store and subscription services. This unique combination of capabilities are brought to life by our store colleagues who provide the friendly expertise, advice and service that our customers really value.”

Rare Australian rodents under attack from all sides

- researcher Janina Kaluza with the rare mouse
The continued survival of one of Australia’s rarest rodents, the water mouse, could hinge on significantly increasing the size of development buffer zones around their habitats.

University of Queensland threatened species researcher
Nina Kaluza
 has spent six years mapping water mice populations from Central Queensland to the Gold Coast, which she found to be crucially threatened by human and animal disturbances.

Ms Kaluzasaid water mice (Xeromys myoides), also known as false water rats or yirrkoo, are small nocturnal animals that build large mud nests like termite mounds, where they and their young can escape the highest tides.
a watermouse on the Maroochy River

“They are beautiful creatures, and very important for the environment as a key bio-indicator for humans to understand the health of coastal wetlands and the effects of climate change,” she said.

“These unique creatures rely on their habitat and a stable hydrology system for their existence, and have been listed as a vulnerable species by the State and Federal governments."

They are currently under threat from cats, foxes and pigs; and habitat loss from urban, industrial and agricultural development, mining, pollution, and insecticides. 
two water mice maintaining a nest

Bli Bli on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is a water mouse hot spot, but also an increasingly popular real estate area. Developmental changes on land adjacent to water mice habitat were crucial to their survival, Ms Kaluza said.

There were problems with feral invaders, with foxes filmed at seven out of 10 nests monitored along the Maroochy River on the Sunshine Coast in 2015 and 2016. Subsequent pest abatement resulted in the eradication of six foxes at this site.

Ms Kaluza, who monitors the footage of 50 cameras, including night vision, said it was important to map and monitor water mice nests to understand water mice behaviour, the impacts on them, and to identify those populations most at risk.

fox investigating and disturbing water mice nests at the Maroochy River. Images J. Kaluza.

This research has contributed to the Commonwealth Government’s referral guideline (2015) and she said the water mice were also found in unknown numbers in the Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea.

Ms Kaluza is also a consultant to WetlandCare Australia and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Chief Executive Officer Appointed to Lead WSAVA’s Work to Advance the Health and Welfare of Companion Animals
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), which represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through 105 member associations, has appointed its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In her new role, Ms Arpita Bhose, currently WSAVA Association Manager, will work with the WSAVA’s leadership team to advance its work to enhance the health and welfare of companion animals worldwide.  She will also work with WSAVA President Elect Dr Shane Ryan to strengthen communication between the WSAVA and its member associations and to drive the association’s efforts to attract sponsorship revenue to support its growing range of activities.  These include:
  • the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including vaccination, nutrition and pain management
  • the development of information, tools and other educational resources to veterinarians
  • the provision of Continuing Education (CE), including its flagship annual WSAVA World Congress
  • campaigning on key issues to veterinarians globally, such as access to veterinary medicines and animal welfare.
Ms Bhose has a 20-year career in association management. Her first role was Membership Manager at the Royal College of Physicians in London.  She then worked in Singapore for several years, managing a number of Asia Pacific medical societies, before returning to the UK in early 2015 and joining the WSAVA as Association Manager.
The WSAVA has also appointed Ms Emma van Rooijen as Administrative Assistant.  Emma van Rooijen qualified with a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Utrecht in 2016.  She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh. She is a past president of the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA) and helped to develop the current strong links between IVSA and WSAVA during her presidency.  In her role with the WSAVA, Emma van Rooijen will support Arpita Bhose and the WSAVA Executive Board. Her responsibilities will include managing meetings, ensuring membership protocols are followed, managing general assembly procedures during World Congress and carrying out other administrative and marketing-related activities.
Commenting on her appointment, Arpita Bhose said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to this new role and at such an exciting time for WSAVA. I look forward to building on our successes, and with the insight of our members, eagerly anticipate implementing the changes necessary to support our rapid growth.”
WSAVA President Dr Walt Ingwersen said: “2018 is shaping up to be one of our most ambitious years to date with further new members joining us and a range of new initiatives underway.  As we continue to grow, a strong operational team to oversee the day to day running of the association is essential, both to support our members and to enable members of our Executive Board to focus on their areas of responsibility.
“Arpita has made a significant impression during her two years as Association Manager and we are delighted to promote her to this new role and to welcome Emma as her assistant.”
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Blueberries?

Blueberries have become known as a sort of superfood because they are full of vitamins and antioxidants.  And while we like to treat our dogs to some of the food we eat, it’s always good to veer on the cautious side.  But for the most part, it is safe for dogs to eat blueberries.

Blueberries are full of vitamins and nutrients which can give your dog a boost

Blueberries are full of vitamins and nutrients that can give dogs a big health boost, and they’re small and soft, so they don’t present a choking hazard. In fact, many commercial dog foods are even including blueberries in their formulas. Blueberries are high in fiber, and while that is beneficial in small amounts, too much fiber can lead to gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. You should always ask your veterinarian before sharing any human foods with your dog.

Blueberries are low in calories and high in antioxidants

Blueberries are low in calories, which make them a great snack or reward for training that won’t cause weight gain. They are high in vitamin C, fiber, low in sugar and antioxidants, which may help boost the immune system and fight aging in the brain, arthritis pain, and even cancer. Blueberries may even help ward off cardiovascular disease and other conditions like the common cold.

Blueberries are high in fiber which is why they need to be monitored

Because blueberries are high in fiber, if your dog eats too many, they can cause stomach aches and diarrhea. This can become an issue if you grow blueberries in your yard where your dog can get them. IF this is the case, you should try to block off the blueberry bushes to make sure your dogs don’t over-eat them.

Anything with blueberry flavoring is not good for your pups

Artificially blueberry flavored products are also not good for dogs. They often contain chemicals, preservatives, or other substances that are harmful to dogs. Additionally, products that contain blueberries may also have added sugar and other ingredients that can make dogs sick.

Frozen blueberries can be hard for small dogs to swallow properly

Blueberries are small and soft, so they don’t present much of a choking hazard, but if they are frozen, they become hard and may cause choking in smaller dogs. While this is unlikely, the risk can be avoided by simply making sure blueberries are defrosted before feeding them to small dogs.

When choosing blueberries, make use organic blueberries that haven’t been exposed to herbicides or pesticides, as these can make dogs sick.  As always, make sure to wash any fruit before feeding your dogs.  As mentioned above, you should always ask your veterinarian before feeding your dog human foods, including blueberries.
Source: US Pet Pav


- Protesting animals unite in support of The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International’s campaign to ban animal testing in cosmetics globally -
- Campaign challenges United Nations to end practice which harms up to 500,000 animals in cruel tests every year –
- The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International call on all cruelty-free companies to support the campaign -
The world’s first animal protest outside the headquarters of the United Nations took place in New York today.
The protest, which included 8 dogs of different breeds and sizes, was in support of Forever Against Animal Testing, a joint campaign by international beauty company The Body Shop and leading organisation working to end animal experiments, Cruelty Free International. The dogs took to the streets with protest signs, bandanas and miniature banners in show of their support.
The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International were joined by influential pet photographer @TheDogist, who has previously supported the campaign in Canada and the US, and influential Instagram pet influencer @louboutinanyc.
The protest aimed to highlight the shocking fact that 80% of countries worldwide still have no laws banning cosmetic animal tests and encourage consumers to support the campaign by signing the global petition at
Once the petition reaches 8 million signatures, The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International will present it to the United Nations, calling for an international convention to ban animal testing on cosmetics to protect millions of animals around the world. Last week, the organisations met with UN officials to progress discussions on the topic.
Having gathered 4.1 million signatures in the last six months, the petition is now the biggest ever against animal testing in cosmetics. The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International are inviting all companies that are against cosmetic animal testing to pledge support for the campaign, and is supplying assets to help other companies and their employees get involved.
In September 2017, The Body Shop was acquired from L’Oreal by Natura, the Brazilian-listed multi-national cosmetics company, which is cruelty-free and a publicly-listed B Corp.   Both Natura and The Body Shop’s new sister company, Aesop, have today officially backed the campaign.
Jessie Macneil-Brown, Head of Global Campaigns, The Body Shop, says: “At The Body Shop we believe passionately in animal welfare and that animals shouldn’t be used for cosmetic testing. We staged our animal protest with dogs, as they have been a powerful symbol for us throughout our Forever Against Animal Testing campaign, representing the relationship we have with animals and connecting with our cruelty-free supporters. This unique protest is symbolic of our huge ambition for ending cosmetic animal testing globally. We are now calling on every person, every company and every government to join our campaign, and help us finish what we started”.
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International says: “Today’s protest sends a strong message to consumers and brands around the world that we need their support. We have made huge progress towards our goal of banning animal testing for cosmetics, but there is still work to be done. We want to see every company that is against animal testing pledge their support and encourage their customers to do the same”.
Elias Friedman, photographer at @TheDogist, said “I supported The Body Shop’s Forever Against Animal Testing campaign when it launched, and it’s great to be here at home in New York at the first ever pet protest at the United Nations. The protesting dogs represent all animals and remind us why animal testing in cosmetics should be banned once and for all.”
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