Supporting UK pets with food

The depth of the crisis

The Trussell Trust’s UK-wide network distributed 1.3 million food parcels to people facing hardship during April to September 2022 – an increase of 52% compared to the same period in 2019. The number of pets in UK households is estimated to have risen from 9 million in 2019 to around 12 million in 2021. The RSPCA have dealt with 13,159 abandonments and 30,500 cases of neglect to the end of October this year. We are committed to helping ensure that no pets go hungry and are able to remain in their loving homes this Christmas.

Our findings have led us to understand that there is a gap of pet foodbank support in London and the south of England. Pet food isn’t always listed to foodbank clients as being available; some people can also be reluctant to ask for help to feed their pets and instead share their human food allocation with them. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the well-being of all family pets; so we’re stepping in to help ensure that this desperately needed resource is in place for those who are struggling to feed their pets during this crisis.

Norwood and Brixton foodbank

Discovering that this particular foodbank, which serves the Lambeth and Croydon boroughs of London and is currently dispatching around 1,000 food boxes per month (of which around 100 include pet food) was in dire need of pet food stock, our Projects Manager, Olivia, recently visited their warehouse and spoke with Project Lead Elizabeth Maytom.

Boxes containing enough food for 3 meals across 3 days for all members of each household are picked, packed and dispatched to clients’ doorsteps from this warehouse. At the moment, support for family pets is more about what food donations they might have to hand to add to a box, rather than being able to provide what each pet needs.

Ideally for Christmas and during the difficult months of January and February, Elizabeth would love to be able to provide separate pet boxes (at around £10 in value) containing enough food for 2 meals per day for 3 days, plus some extra dry food, dentals chews, treats, and perhaps a small toy. A dog owner herself, Elizabeth is super keen to do everything she can to prevent pet owners from being in a position of having to give up their beloved companions as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

How to help

  1. Amazon wish list – Purchase dog food items from our wish list, which are labelled according to priority need, for direct delivery to the Norwood and Brixton foodbank warehouse.
  2. UK Pet Foodbank Gift of Giving  – If you’re looking for an alternative Christmas gift, you’ll be helping to ensure that pets don’t go hungry, and are able to be kept in loving homes by purchasing via our shop.
  3. Donate – We appreciate it’s a difficult time for all, but for those who can afford it, we’d be hugely grateful for a small donation to help us to support our wider emergency pet food bank initiative via the adjacent donation panel, so that family pets don’t go hungry this winter.
  4. Spread the word! – The more people who join us to raise awareness of this crisis, the more family pets we’ll be able to help.

If a regular donation towards a specific project is set up and we subsequently cease to provide support in the future, any recurring donations will be allocated to the areas of our other work requiring the most support.

Help us to help them this Christmas

The stark reality for street dogs in winter

80% of all puppies born will die before reaching adolescence due to starvation, disease, neglect and abuse. These are street dogs who don’t have the security of a place to call home or the luxury of regular meals, and a bleak and harsh winter compounds their struggle to survive.

Conditions barely tolerable for a healthy adult dog are virtually impossible for young and vulnerable puppies to withstand. Lone pups seeking shelter from the bitter cold in a freezing ditch, foraging for scraps of vaguely edible food, are often too weak to fight the cold and can succumb to the elements.

A tan and white stray dog sheltering under a tree in the snow in Romania

How to help

Help us to give dogs less fortunate than those already safe in a caring shelter the Christmas they deserve. There’s no better feeling than helping those in the direst of need.

Every single donation, no matter how small, has the potential to change the life of a stray dog this winter. By donating whatever you can, you are helping us to support our project partners in our combined missions to end the suffering and improve the wellbeing of the global stray dog population.

  • £10 could provide a couple of blankets.
  • £15 could feed a starving dog for a month.
  • £20 could provide a life saving blood test.
  • £25 could vaccinate a vulnerable dog.
  • £40 could sterilise a dog.

We are so very grateful for your generous support which has helped us get to where we are today, but your continued help could take us even further towards making impactful and lasting change to the lives of stray dogs in need. 

A white stray dog in the arms of a lady wearing a bobble hat in the snow in Romania

Fresha London competition

Donate £2 to enter our competition with Fresha London and Wild at Heart Foundation

Our wonderful charity partner, Fresha London are giving you the opportunity to win a voucher worth £300!! This will give you the opportunity to own two of their lovely easy-to-wear, flattering, sustainable maxi dresses. Along with a beautiful Wild At Heart Foundation bouquet from Wild at Heart worth £115!

To enter simply follow the instructions below:

All the proceeds received from the competition will go towards aiding us to fulfil our international project work to reduce the suffering of the global stray dog population. Competition ends 22nd November.

Thank you and good luck!

Christmas e-cards

Send your best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with our new fun and festive e-cards featuring artwork by the amazing Simeon Farrar, who also designed the artwork for our range of clothing, accessories and mugs. Simply choose from four designs, add your message, enter up to 100 recipient emails in one batch, select a donation amount from as little as £1 and schedule to send…easy!

E-cards are a great way to send a Christmas message to family and friends whilst helping us to help stray dogs in need. By choosing to send virtual cards rather than paper, you’ll also be helping the environment too.

Businesses are also welcome to send our Christmas e-cards. Corporate purchase options start from £50 for 50 cards, up to a maximum of 1000 cards. You have the option to add your logo, upload a CSV of contacts, plus send the cards in either one big batch, or personalise them for each recipient. It’s a great way to show associates that you are giving something back to a worthy cause.

Show someone how much they mean to you this Christmas and do good for stray dogs in need at the same time. Take a look at our range of cards here:

Send an e-card

Don't Send Me A Card logo

We’ve teamed up with DontSendMeACard where you can support our work with your purchase by donating as little as what it would have cost to send a paper card in the post.

Simeon Farrar Designs

All i want for xmas is you e-card Santa Paws xmas card





Understanding separation anxiety in your dog

Troublesome behaviour doesn’t always indicate separation anxiety but when it does, it is important to take steps to help your dog overcome their stress. Therefore, you need to use behavioural clues to establish whether or not your dog is anxious. Once you are sure, there are a number of things you can do to help combat it. Dogs in rescue may have tendencies to be a little more anxious due to their lack of routine, and the confusion they’ve been through.

How to spot separation anxiety

A dog who isn’t showing any symptoms of anxiety will be calm when you leave the house. They may fall asleep or play happily with toys. Inactive anxiety is hard to spot because there will be no visible signs of stress when you return home. Whilst you are out the dog will remain still but vigilant. They might have ears flat to their head, drool excessively, tuck their tail under their tummy and lick their lips repeatedly whilst panting and trembling. To detect this type of fear it may be prudent to set up a camera on a tripod or shelf so that you can become aware and take action.

A more active sign of stress that a camera would pick up but you may not when absent, manifests itself in a dog running between rooms and looking out of windows for you to return. The most obvious symptoms of stress are hard to miss and include the following:

  • Barking and howling, triggered by the guardian leaving.
  • Urinating and defecating when alone.
  • Destroying furniture and chewing shoes and carpets – this can cause self-injury like broken teeth, cuts and damaged claws.
  • Digging to try and escape – this can also result in injury.

Some of these behaviours can be caused by poor or incomplete house training, the key is usually that the animal is displaying these signs only when the guardian has left the house. Dogs are deeply attached to their owners and their absence can cause real stress.

Dogs may even start to show symptoms of anxiety before their guardian has left home. They may have distinguished between the trappings of work and trappings of home. Whilst wellies may trigger delight at the prospect of a walk, work shoes can bring on stress. As soon as an anxious dog realises you are leaving without them they may begin following you around, attention seeking or even attempting to block the door.

Why do dogs develop separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a common problem for dog owners. It is seen more regularly in dogs who have been adopted from shelters rather than dogs who have been in the same family since they were puppies. Adopted dogs have experienced the loss of an important person and this can trigger anxiety going forward.

Other reasons may include:

  • Change of owner – this could be a result of abandonment, being given to a shelter or given away to a new family.
  • Change of schedule – this may be caused by a change of jobs that requires a former home worker to be out of the house for long periods.
  • House move – this can be unsettling for a dog.
  • Changes within the family – perhaps caused by a death or someone moving away.
  • Medical conditions – such as urinary tract infection, old age, bladder stone, kidney disease, diabetes or a neurological condition.

 How to treat separation anxiety

An adult dog may be anxious because they were never taught to settle on their own as a pup. The most common treatment involves retraining the brain to understand that being alone isn’t frightening and can be rewarding. This is called counter conditioning. 

A common way to do this involves giving the dog a food toy filled with a tempting treat that will take 20 or 30 minutes to finish. Give this to the dog in a safe place such as their bed. Move a little way away and don’t actively engage with their activity. Repeat this process a number of times moving further away on each occasion so that the dog doesn’t react to your movement. If at any time the dog panics and tries to follow you, the process has to begin again. 

The dog should never get to the point of full-blown anxiety, this is a low-intensity task that doesn’t frighten him otherwise he won’t understand that he can be calm and comfortable in his safe place in situations that would usually worry him, such as you leaving the house.

For dogs who get anxious at the first sign of you getting ready to leave the house, it may help to wear outdoor clothes inside for periods of time. It might seem funny to watch TV in your coat but this can work to desensitise your dog.

It’s important to remember that telling your dog off or getting angry won’t work to stop the undesirable behaviour. The dog won’t associate the reprimand with behaviour of several hours ago and will be made further anxious and confused by your unexpected response to him. Empathy and understanding of the anxiety is the best way to find a resolution.

If you have any concerns that the behaviour is being caused by a medical condition then it is always best to speak to your vet. It is possible to prescribe anti-anxiety medication and that may be necessary for your dog. However, there are other options that you may want to try first.

  • If possible take your dog to work so that they aren’t left alone.
  • Ask friends or family to stay with the dog. 
  • Employ a dog sitter or doggy daycare.
  • Try using behavioural products such as adaptil.

You could also try using activities to boost your dog’s mental well-being by:

  • Walk, swim or run.
  • Play interactive games such as tug of war or fetch.
  • Take your dog to different places to experience unusual scents. 
  • Find dog walking buddies to stimulate your pet further.
  • Puzzling food toys.
  • Food hunts around the house.
  • Training classes.

Knowing the signs and methods for treating separation anxiety should mean you’re well-equipped to cope should your pet begin to suffer – but if in doubt, you can speak to the experts at 365 Vet.

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