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NewsHound | Issue 10

Hello NewsHounds, this week features tips from Battersea on keeping your pets cosy this winter, news on our upcoming PAAWstival Dog Awards, as well as our view on Joe Wicks call out from the British Veterinary Association.


The Nations favourite PE instructor, Joe Wicks, got into trouble with the BVA (British Veterinary Association) recently. After introducing his Dads French Bulldog puppy on social media, Joe was called out for promoting breeds which suffer from breathing difficulties. Whilst I agree with the BVA, and all who work to highlight the issues associated with breeding dogs for looks over health, there is another important issue here. I find it hard to believe that Joe Wicks intentionally used his influence to promote a specific breed of dog. I saw the original post; it seemed to me an innocent post, engaging with his audience to introduce a new family puppy.

Education is key

In my opinion the bigger problem here is lack of animal and pet welfare in education. When my dog Vinnie joined our family, I knew little about the many welfare issues I am now passionate about. These were not topics I had been exposed to in any great detail. The key to ensuring that future generations, who are responsible for ensuring high animal welfare standards, understand these issues at an early age.

The power of the influencer cannot be underestimated, however, an influencer can only influence on a topic they know and understand. French Bulldogs (we have lots of lovely, happy Frenchie pals) continue to be one of the most “Instagrammable” breed of dog in the UK, Joe’s Dad is not exactly unique!

We wish Joe’s little canine brother a long and healthy life, in what I have no doubt is a loving and happy home. We look forward to a day when every child will learn the importance of a kinder world for animals. Of course, not every child will want a pet, however I do believe that understanding tolerance, kindness and the basics of where their food comes from is an important part of education.

Follow this link for more information on Animal Welfare in Education.


As temperatures across the country plummet, Battersea is offering advice to dog and cat owners to help keep their much-loved pets warm this winter. Steve Craddock, Centre Manager at Battersea said: “Just like humans, some of our pets will need a little extra care over the colder months to help keep them feeling their best. Elderly dogs and cats, or those with short coats, may especially struggle during this time.”

Top tips

Wrap up warm; Make sure your dogs are dressed appropriately for colder weather with warm waterproof coats. If your dog struggles with colder weather, consider taking them on a shorter walk than normal.

Keep them dry; Dry off your dog or cat if they are wet or muddy to keep them from becoming ill, and make sure you provide somewhere cosy and warm for them to curl up and rest, especially if they are older.

Check their paws; During winter, it is especially important to check in between your pet’s toes after they’ve been outside. Salt and grit could get stuck in between paws and cause them to become chapped and irritated. In the event of snow, check your pet’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside.

Avoid antifreeze; One of the biggest and most common dangers that cats face in winter is coming in to contact with antifreeze, which can result in serious illness or even death. Cats seem to be attracted to the ‘sweet’ taste of this chemical which can prove deadly if they ingest in even a small amount.

Check your car; Cars can pose several risks to cats, particularly during the cold, dark months. Cats (and other small animals) have a dangerous habit of crawling under car bonnets to enjoy the warmth from the engine so you should always tap the hood of a car before starting the engine.

For more advice on winter pet care, please visit

© @battersea