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Pets

Are cats man’s new best friend? Surge in demand throughout lockdown

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Everyone’s heard that dogs are man’s best friend, but what about cats? 

Research from pet insurance comparison experts Quotezone.co.uk, shows that over the last three years, across the pandemic, demand for pets amongst single people was on the rise, particularly cats. 

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Couples with pets have actually been in decline year-on-year, dropping from 70.5% in 2019 to 67% in 2022 for dogs, and from 65% down to 60.6% for couples with cats.

Demand for pets from single people has spiked though, with dogs up from 29% to 33% and the popularity of cats jumping by almost 5%, from 35% in 2019 to 39.4% in 2022.

The cat owners surveyed take very particular care of their pets, with 85% of the cats microchipped – even though it’s not a legal requirement yet. A majority of cat owners in the UK have also gotten their feline friends vaccinated (84%) and neutered (85%), which can help for medical reasons and can even help cat owners save money on pet insurance. 

Top 3 ways to save on cat insurance

  1. Review pets’ lifestyles, indoor versus outdoor – indoor cats are at less risk of theft and injury.
  2. If you have more than one cat, it’s normally cheaper to have a multi-pet policy.
  3. Often fully vaccinated, microchipped/tagged and neutered cats have cheaper premiums.

Greg Wilson, Founder of pet insurance comparison site, Quotezone.co.uk, comments: “It’s great to see a rise in demand for our feline friends, these clever animals are full of affection and personality, we’d just recommend that people do their homework before adopting or purchasing any pet, considering if the breed is a good fit for them and their household and working out estimated costs for care and food beforehand. 

“Bear in mind any upcoming changes in lifestyle such as returning to the office or a more hybrid work/life balance, which can all affect our furry friends.

“Vet bills have the potential to be quite sizable if the animal suffers an accident or is diagnosed with an illness, so shop around and get a good deal on pet insurance, it really is the best way to protect them, safeguard finances and it doesn’t have to be expensive.”

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Pontardawe fire crews thanked for ‘paw-fect’ puppy rescue

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Fire crews in Pontardawe have been thanked for a ‘paw-fect’ rescue mission after answering an emergency call with a difference to help a trapped puppy.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say their firefighters from Pontardawe fire station were called to a property in Ynysmeudwy after reports of a 5 week old Spaniel pup that had managed to crawl underneath the home owners bath and into a hole in the floorboards.

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Firefighters attempted to dismantle the pipework but were unable reach the puppy.

A spokesperson from Mid and West wales Fire and Rescue service said: “Crews diligently persevered and managed to gain access to the little pup by skilfully cutting a section of the floorboards, which resulted in the rescue of the little pup.

“Thankfully he was completely unharmed.”

Firefighters said they were honoured to be able to christen the puppy “Terry”, adding that they hoped he won’t get into anymore mischief.

(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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Motoring

Drivers urged to get a dog carrier to stay legal and keep pets safe on car journeys

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short coated dog inside a car

While your four-legged friend may like the wind in their ears with their head out of the window as you drive down that country road, its actually been illegal to do so for some time in the UK.

You could be fined up to £5,000 for ‘careless driving’.

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The Highway Code says dogs or other animals should be suitably restrained when in a vehicle, so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly.

If you have a dog, having a quality, comfortable carrier for them is smart. It doesn’t matter if your pup is your travel companion or if you just need a carrier for trips to the vet, finding the right one matters. The right carrier will help ensure your dog stays safe while traveling in your vehicle and will ensure you can take them on your travels.

When you start searching for the right carrier for your pup, you will find many options to choose from. At first, the selection may be a bit overwhelming. You can find a quality and safe carrier for your dog with a few tips and criteria to look for – here, we share some starting points.

1. Choose the Right Size Carrier

Finding a carrier that’s the right size for your dog is important. To figure out what size you need, start by measuring your pup. You need to purchase one that’s big enough for your dog to turn around in, curl up, and stretch out.

To get the right size, measure your dog’s back from their neck to the base of their tail, and then add a few inches for comfort. You also need to measure the dog’s shoulder height to the ground. If you are buying a soft-sided carrier, add two to three inches to this measurement. For a hard-sided carrier, add three to five inches.

2. Safety Features

Another important consideration is the safety features the carrier offers. For example, does it offer a way for you to secure your dog inside the carrier? You also need to see if there are connections to secure the carrier in your car. You want to ensure that your dog isn’t shaken and jostled while you are in the car – it makes the experience nicer for them, and could be crucial if you have an accident.

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3. Easy to Assemble and Clean

Unfortunately, not all dogs are good travelers. Some may get car sick, while others may have an accident in their carrier. Because of this, you need to find a carrier that is easy to put together, take apart, and clean. If you get a hard carrier, make sure you can remove the parts and components and clean them with a dog-safe product.

For soft carriers, it’s best to find machine washable ones. This will ensure if your pup does have an accident or gets sick, you can easily clean the carrier.

Finding the Right Dog Carrier for Your Pup

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when choosing a dog carrier. You must consider your dog and what you need to keep them comfortable and safe.

While there are many options to choose from, it’s a good idea to keep the criteria mentioned above in mind to ensure you find and purchase the right carrier. Your dog is your best friend, so ensure you get them the gear and supplies needed to stay safe no matter where your adventures take you.

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Pets

Aberavon RNLI lifeguards save budgie that had been missing for four days

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Lifeguards at Aberavon beach have helped to reunite missing Blue the budgie with its owner, four days after going missing.

Lifeguards have described this as “a different type of rescue” to what they are used to.

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After a group of school children noticed a budgie on the beach, Aberavon beach lifeguard supervisor, Sophie Phillips collected the bird and made sure it was kept safe.

After appealing to local vets as well as on Facebook, Blue’s owner finally spotted the lifeguard team’s post after the bird went missing on the previous Sunday.

Blue’s home was nearly nine miles to where he was found and thanks to the help of the RNLI lifeguards and a drink of water, Blue was fine and back with its owner in the space of a few hours after being found at the beach.

After Blue was collected, Sophie said: “The last thing I expected to see was a budgie on the beach and we were so glad we were able to help reunite the bird with its owner”.

Blue’s owner has made a charitable donation to the RNLI.

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(Lead image: RNLI)

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