Christmas Gift Guide for your Dog

Your friends and family won’t be the only ones who will be getting something special this Christmas; we are confident you will be treating your pet to something new too. Whether it is an extra yummy treat or a fun new toy, it is really important to make sure that the presents you’re giving your pup are safe for them to enjoy. A trip to the emergency vet will only ruin your festive fun and put your dog at unnecessary risk.  

Here are the do’s and don’ts of gift-giving, along with our present guide for your dog and the dog lovers in your life. 


  • Stock up on your dogs’ favourite treats so they can join in on the festive fun. 
  • Buy them some new fun and interactive toys that will entertain them and stimulate their minds. 
  • Is it time for a new bed? Make sure your dog is comfortable and buy them a brand-new dog bed and blankets to keep warm. 
  • Focus on buying eco-friendly toys for your pup. This will reduce potential plastic consumption as well as positively impact the environment. 


  • Avoid giving your dog dangerous toys that could be a potential choking or strangulation hazard. 
  • Steer clear of dressing your dog up in fancy dress, this can cause unwanted stress in your pup. 
  • We all see those big rawhide bones in pet shops, but these can be dangerous to your four-legged friend. They are known for causing an upset stomach, and issues to the digestive tract as well as blockages. Along with other types of bones, they can also splinter, becoming a choking hazard and causing damage to your dog’s throat. 

Let’s avoid an unwanted visit to the vet this Christmas and ensure our pups are happy and stress-free. 

Christmas Gift Guide for the Dogs and Dog Lovers in Your Life

For all dog lovers: Believe in Dog T-Shirt from Wild at Heart Foundationshop here 

For your stylish pup: Leather Dog Collar by Kintails – shop here

For artistic dog lovers: Personalised Pet Portrait by Chloe of Pet Portrait Illustrationsshop here

For your chilly pup: Wild at Heart Foundation Dog Jacketshop here

For rescue dog lovers: Rescue Dogs by Sally Muirshop here

For your food-loving pup: Air-dried Treats from James & Ellashop here

For Christmas-obsessed dog lovers: Crackers for You Xmas Sweatshirt from Wild at Heart Foundationshop here

For your stinky pup: MONAT Pet Deodorising Sprayshop here

For charitable dog lovers: Wild at Heart Foundation Gift of Giving – Sterilise a dog 

For your dirty pup: Digby Dog House by Bramley – £1 from every Digby Dog House sold goes to us shop here

For shopaholic dog lovers: Be Kind Tote Bag from Wild at Heart Foundation shop here

We hope this Christmas gift guide has helped you find the perfect presents for your furry friend and the dog lovers in your life. With so many great options available, you’re sure to find something that they will love and appreciate. Just remember to choose gifts that are safe, durable, and appropriate for your dog’s age and activity level.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the holidays with your special pup. After all, they’re the ones who make this time of year so special.

Prepare Your Dog for the Festive Season

Christmas is a time for having fun with loved ones but for many, can be a stressful and lonely time. During the festive period, 17% of people report feeling lonely. Spare a thought for our dogs who may be feeling the same.

Stress in Our Dogs

We know how stress builds over time, especially if triggered daily, while we can ’understand’ and compartmentalise stress, dogs cannot. Their outlook on life is simpler in that all they want is fun with their needs being catered for. Inevitably the festive season is stressful, but it’s only recently that scientists have discovered that stress is actually contagious!  A study in Italy showed that stressed dog owners had high cortisol blood readings and so did their dogs! Dogs under three may not have had enough socialization with visitors, so preparation is key.

In a study from Belfast University last year, scientists proved that dogs distinguished the odour of cortisol on their owner’s breath. Over time, dogs associate certain scents with stress, which can cause them to become anxious too. What’s more, studies concur that a stressed dog can take up to 72 hours to de-stress. The concern about intense stress in dogs is that they become hypersensitive, excited, perhaps barking more, panting, yawning and pacing. Observe your dog, and look out for these tell-tale signs.

Preparing Your Dog This Christmas

Take steps to relieve this pressure on your pooch. Remove him from the proceedings to settle in a quiet space with an interactive chew toy, with the radio on low volume, which will help your dog calm down and think. The last thing anybody wants is a preventable dog bite happening when the dog is reacting out of fear, confusion or resource-guarding behaviour.

Apart from the human stress factor, the Christmas tree is arguably the most dangerous festive feature that can add a raft of stress.  Real pine trees drop their needles, which, in the right quantity, can be toxic to dogs and sometimes get lodged in their throats, causing a massive Vet emergency. Male dogs could be tempted to scent mark it, while dogs that like sticks could see a huge opportunity presented with a whole tree in the room. Similarly, imitation trees with internal wires, synthetic tinsel and plastic could easily combine for a trip to the vet.

I suggest decorating your tree after you’ve spent some proactive training teaching your dog to ignore this indoor tree feature. The training game is being rewarded for staying at a safe distance! Add the decorations gradually, and consider how your dog might see baubles as balls, tinsel as a rope, and fairy lights as a flashing rubber chew toy. Opt for fabric decorations paperchains in place of tinsel, and avoid any chocolates either on the tree or as wrapped gifts under the tree.

Remember to keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible. Keep their meals the same, although a bit of cooked turkey is OK, but NO cooked bones! No mince pies or any food with raisins or chocolate as both can cause kidney failure in the right quantity. Ensure you keep up long walks and activities, which will help tire your dog, and help re-balance any stored cortisol overload.

Top Tips


Invite friends and family over before Christmas to teach your dog calm well-mannered meet and greets with the end behaviour settling in a dog bed either in the main room or in another away from the guests.


Training your guests to be calm around your pooch is so important. I recommend playing the game “What Dog?  My guests are taught to ignore my dogs with no speech, and no eye contact until the initial excitement of people arriving subsides.


Pre-empt any accidental reward for unwanted behaviours like jumping up, racing around, or barking. Out of choice, I encourage Prudence my Mini Bull Terrier to relax with an interactive toy. She has her TV on for festive cheer until the atmosphere is calm especially when food and eating is finished.


Being mindful of stress triggers like deliveries and guests arriving. So, by training that the front door is a game for practising calm behaviour involving a sit-stay on a mat or a dog bed will help keep the cortisol low.
Some dogs aren’t as lucky as our pets and they will be spending Christmas scared and alone on the streets. Read how you can Help Us Help Them this Christmas.

About the Author – Anna Webb

As a Canine Nutrition and Behaviour expert, Anna combines her psychology degree, with study at the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) and over 20 years of experience. Host of the award-nominated A DOG’S LIFE podcast, she lives in London and is owned by Prudence, a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr. Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. 



Sam Toft Art Auction: Bringing Sunshine

We were thrilled to fill the Panter and Hall Gallery with a whole host of our supporters and their four-legged friends, alongside the wonderful Sam Toft and her fabulous new exhibition of exquisite work. The gallery was full of enthusiastic art lovers, poised to view Sam’s pieces, bid for a one-of-a-kind Sam Toft and raise money for our worthwhile cause. 

The Live Auction 

Sam, herself, is a dog lover who rescued her dog Betty recently. She has always wanted to give back to the amazing animals that provide her with so much love and joy. That is why we were so grateful that she chose us as her charity to support. 

Sam worked incredibly hard for the duration of the evening, providing our guests with personalised sketches of their gorgeous pups, both in attendance and those left at home. She had queues of guests lining up to receive their one-of-a-kind Sam Toft piece. 

She also generously donated her beautiful painting ‘Bringing Sunshine’ along with a collection of her ceramics, including the first piece of pottery that she threw, to auction off for our benefit. Nikki also donated a Wild at Heart voucher, to win a bouquet of stunning flowers. All the money raised from her auction, and the donations from the live sketching, has generously been donated to our mission, to change the lives of stray dogs worldwide. 

The live auction element of the evening was very fun with many of our guests enthusiastically placing their bids and fighting for the artwork. We even had some dogs joining in, placing bids and competing for the prizes. With Sam’s generous donations for the auction, our enthusiastic guests, and dog lovers coming together for a good cause, we managed to raise over £5,000. This money will directly contribute towards our mission to end the suffering and improve the well-being of stray dogs in need all over the world. 

Podcast Recording with Anna Webb

Before the event kicked off, Nikki, Sam and our new Ambassador, Anna Webb, sat down to speak about their mutual love of dogs, the important work of The Foundation and the style and whimsy of Sam’s art. 

Discussions ranged from Nikki’s time in Puerto Rico helping in the recovery unit of the Spayathons, to our work with food banks to help struggling dog owners feed their dogs during the cost-of-living crisis.  They also spoke about Nikki’s passion to stop the online sale of dogs, and instead promote the importance of ‘adopt don’t shop’, especially given the current abundance of dogs in dire need of homes in UK shelters.

Sam’s passion for dogs is obvious in their conversations; she also has experience of rescuing dogs, as her beloved Betty was a partially trained police dog from Bosnia. Having worked very hard with Betty she explains why rescuing and rehabilitating dogs is the most rewarding thing you can do. Combining her talent and her love of dogs, Sam has created a world through her art and characters that are so recognisable, and they have gained her a huge and loyal following.


Thank You!

We are so grateful to the Panter and Hall Gallery for donating the space to host this wonderful and successful evening. We would also like to thank everyone who joined us in person and online and who so generously opened their purses and wallets so that we can make a difference in the lives of stray dogs everywhere. 

The biggest thank you of all goes to Sam Toft. Without her unwavering dedication to her art and her dogs, her generous donations of sketches, paintings and ceramics and her sheer kindness, this event would not have been possible. The money that has been raised will be put to good use to help fund sterilisations, welfare drives and education programmes and ensure the suffering of vulnerable stray dogs finally comes to an end.

Do you feel like you missed out on this event? Make sure you’re following us on our socials, and you’re subscribed to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss any of our event announcements. 

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Festive Raffle: Help Make a Stray Dog’s Christmas Wish Come True

We have collaborated with some amazing brands who have generously donated a whole array of brilliant prizes for you to win – I wouldn’t miss this one!  

Not only will you have the chance to win, but you will also be doing your bit to help change a stray dog’s life this Christmas.

The Raffle

From an exclusive lunch for you and three friends at Mount St. Restaurant to a Festive Joy Wreath from Wild at Heart, a pet-friendly holiday voucher courtesy of Pets Pyjamas to a makeup consultation and session with Madeleine Spencer, we have a real array of prizes for you to win. 

These prizes offer a huge variety of different experiences, so there really is something for everyone. At just £10 a ticket and only 100 tickets available per prize, you’ll not only have the chance to win wonderful prizes, but you’ll also be making a stray dog’s Christmas wish come true. You can enter multiple times and for multiple prizes too. 

How Your Raffle Tickets Help Our Work  

Nikki Tibbles founded Wild at Heart Foundation in 2015 with one dream: to compassionately reduce the world’s 600 million stray dog population. We are dedicated to ending the suffering and improving the welfare of abandoned, unwanted and vulnerable stray dogs overseas, as well as supporting welfare and education work in the UK.  

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of others to achieve our goals and fund our projects; without our supporters and your donations, this crucial work would not be possible. We cannot do this alone; we need your help to save these dogs.  

Here is how your £10 can make a difference: 

  • 1 raffle ticket can vaccinate 5 dogs in India 
  • 1 raffle ticket can provide anti-parasite treatment for a dog in Romania 
  • 2 raffle tickets can feed a dog for a month in Lesvos 
  • 2 raffle tickets can vaccinate a dog in Romania 
  • 2 raffle tickets can blood test a dog in India 
  • 3 raffle tickets can sterilise a dog in Mexico 

Find out more about our Global Partners and where your generous donations go. 

This raffle ends at 9pm on 11th December with new prizes being announced regularly. 

Buy your tickets now! 


The Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Dog

The seasonal iconic pumpkin, in classic orange, is not only for carving scary lanterns, but It’s a ‘functional’ whole food ingredient, as well as the most popular choice for fancy dress!


Hailing the end of Autumn, Halloween is packed with fun social opportunities for both dogs and their owners. Whether you opt for a Halloween fundraising dog walk, a Howloween tea pawty, or a spooktacular fancy dress parade.

It’s a time to put your training skills to the test and optimise polite meet and greets, along with real-time desensitisation, focus and communication.

With 76% of dog owners admitting they will dress their dogs up for Halloween, canine pumpkin costumes rank as the number one choice followed by hot dogs, bats, Devils and ghosts.

Over a third of dog owners think their pets in costume will attract more attention, especially on social media which appears to be driven by Millennials who lead the pack in dressing up their dogs at 86% compared to the Boomers at 56%.

Remember a dog is for life, not just for Instagram! Tune into your dog’s calming signals, like head-turns, yawning, lip licking, or blinking, which indicate he is not happy wearing a pumpkin suit.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Adding a tablespoon of lightly steamed or pureed pumpkin, for a 10KG dog, is packed with minerals, vitamins and powerful carotenoid antioxidants helping a healthy immune system and offering a digestive boost.

Its 94% water content makes it a natural remedy for upset tummies, as it rehydrates and soothes the digestive tract, especially when cortisol levels rise and increase thirst.

Plus, Pumpkin is full of natural fibres that work as pre-biotics to feed the trillions of bacteria residing in your dog’s microbiome, (gut lining). This is where 90% of your dog’s immune system is based.

Like other orange vegetables, pumpkin contains a lot of beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. Once it converts to vitamin A in the body, it helps improve vision as well as boost overall immunity and skin and coat health.

Packed with anti-oxidants Including Vitamin C and E and carotenoids from its plant pigments. The carotenoid Zeaxanthin protects your dog’s eyes from light damage. It may even contribute to slowing down the ageing process, improving heart health, increasing glutathione levels, and reducing skin inflammation.

Pumpkin also contains important minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and iron each plays a role in cellular functions.

There’s also evidence that pumpkin seeds when ground up, and served by the teaspoon, contain valuable Omegas and the amino acid, Cucurbiton, which paralyses worms. Studies in rats and puppies concur that pumpkin seeds do eliminate intestinal worms!


As Halloween also heralds the start of the fireworks season, which affects 50% of Britain’s dogs with noise sensitivity, Pumpkin is food for thought in that Science concurs that there is a connection between healthy digestion and cognitive function.

Adding pureed pumpkin to your dog’s diet might help reduce fireworks anxiety just with healthier digestion.

This Autumn optimise pumpkin power, a seasonal veggie with a raft of health benefits.

We have more information on how to care for your dog during Fireworks season, read our blog now.

About the Author – Anna Webb

As a Canine Nutrition and Behaviour expert, Anna combines her psychology degree, with study at the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) and over 20 years of experience. Host of the award-nominated A DOG’S LIFE podcast, she lives in London and is owned by Prudence, a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr. Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. 

Tips for a Happy Autumn

As we start to enjoy the new season with our four-legged friends, it is important that we make sure they’re happy and healthy.

In the same way we have to adapt our dog’s care in the Summer, we must ensure they’re thriving in the Autumn too. We have put together some tips and tricks on how to keep your dog feeling safe in the Autumn months.

Potential Poisons  

Acorn + Sycamore Poisoning 

We love to take our dogs for long walks all year round but there is something particularly special about walking during Autumn. However, there are plenty of risks with walking in the colder months that we should be aware of. Many of our favourite British trees can produce harmful fruits that fall to the ground as the seasons change.  

Oak trees and their acorns contain tannins which are harmful to some farm animals, horses and dogs. If consumed, symptoms can include vomiting & diarrhoea, tiredness, abdominal tenderness, loss of appetite and dehydration and they can appear within hours. As well as acorns, sycamore seeds can be fatal to your dog. Similarly to acorn poisoning, sycamore poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. 

We understand it is difficult to watch your dog’s every move, but if you’re worried about your dog, try to find a safer place to walk them. If you think your dog may have ingested the poison – move them away from the area, give them water and consult a vet as soon as possible. The quicker you react, the better and always ensure you get expert advice. 

Fungi Poisoning 

There is a huge variety of different fungi here in the UK, that dramatically vary in size, shape, colour and how poisonous they are. Unless you are an expert, it can be incredibly difficult to identify wild mushrooms. Although some are edible, many of them aren’t and can cause some serious symptoms for your dog. These symptoms can include an upset stomach, blood in the stool or vomit, neurological symptoms, and even kidney or liver failure. The type of fungi eaten will determine the symptoms; however, for peace of mind, it is best to seek professional medical advice for treatment. 

Antifreeze & Rock Salt 

Antifreeze is more commonly used as the months get colder, but it can be poisonous to your dog. Many animals seem to enjoy the taste of antifreeze but if it is ingested, it can cause acute kidney failure or even death. Other symptoms include vomiting, seizures and trouble breathing – if your dog shows any of these symptoms contact your vet straight away. Rock salt is also a common toxin during autumn and winter, which can cause dehydration and even liver failure. The granules of rock salt can also irritate your dog’s paws. To protect your dog from potential rock salt poisoning, make sure you wipe their paws thoroughly after walks.  

Safety in the Dark 

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it is possible that we will be walking our dogs in the dark, so it is important to know how we can keep our four-legged friends safe. 

Walk a Familiar Route 

The darkness can throw us off balance and even though our dogs have much better night vision than us, even they have some impairments. Stick to a route you are familiar with, consider shorter walks during the week and save your long walks for your free time at the weekends. You could also bring a friend or fellow dog walker with you for company and safety. There are plenty of other ways to exercise and entertain your dog – have a read of our blog all about how to entertain your dog at home. 

Dress Yourself and Your Dog Appropriately 

It is important that you wear reflective clothing to make yourself visible especially when walking near the roads. Don’t forget to dress your dog for the occasion too! There are many reflective accessories and LED collars that you can purchase for your dog to ensure they’re seen too. This is especially important if your dog is of a slightly darker colour. Some dogs, who are older, smaller or short-haired, may require a form of dog coat to keep them warmer as the temperature drops.  

As you walk, the visibility of the path you have taken may become limited. Wearing sensible shoes may reduce the risk of injury and will also keep your feet warm and dry as you walk. 

Keep Your Dog on The Lead 

Even though dogs do have better vision in the dark, it is still impaired and can cause changes in behaviour. It is important to keep your dog on a lead, so they aren’t spooked and react to another dog or human in the darkness. It is so important that you have full control of them to ensure you know where they are, avoiding potential hazards as you walk. 

Bring Other Sources of Light 

Wherever you can, carrying a torch may prove to be very beneficial as it can light your way and keep you aware of uneven ground. A headtorch is recommended as this will allow you to see what’s ahead and keep your hands free. 

Take Your Phone and Skip Wearing Headphones 

It is important to be aware of your surroundings as you walk so you can be alert to any potential dangers; phones can be a distraction so keep it in your pocket until you need it. Although we don’t want you to be distracted, it is important to carry one in case of emergencies and you can use the map feature if you find yourself lost. We would also recommend that you don’t wear headphones in order to be alert to your surroundings, including other dog walkers, traffic and other potential dangers. 


Fleas are much more common in the summer months; however, in the Autumn your home can be the perfect breeding ground for them. As the heating turns on dormant flea eggs can start to hatch into adults. 

It is easy to prevent these pesky fleas from invading your home by making sure your dog is up to date on all of their parasite prevention treatments. Remember, if your dog does get fleas, treat them straight away and make sure you treat your house too so they can’t come back. 


Halloween is a big night for many UK households and while we are out collecting sweet treats and playing silly tricks, it is important that we spare a thought to our pets and ensure they’re enjoying themselves too. With the increase of chocolate, sweets and other yummy treats your dog could be spoilt for choice. Ensure that these goodies are out of reach to avoid the chances of chocolate poisoning, and avoid any emergency trips to the vet.

Some dogs experience territorial aggression; with the increase of visitors to your front door these aggressions may be heightened. Provide a safe, quiet space for your dog to escape to, to reduce their fear of strangers knocking at the door. We also don’t recommend dressing your dog up in costumes as this can cause distress to your dog and create unwanted attention.

Fireworks Night 

Fireworks night can be a particularly exciting night for us, but it can be rather scary for our pets, with research showing that over 60% of UK dogs are fearful or reactive to the noise of fireworks. It is common for dogs to have sound sensitivities and while an amount of fear is normal, it is important that we help them in any way we can to make them feel safe and comfortable.

Although we still have time until these events take place, it is crucial to put time into helping your dog settle and relax on these special occasions and the surrounding days. For all the tips and tricks to calm your dog head over to our blog ‘Handling Fireworks Night With Your Dog’

We will be providing more information and insights on our social sites in the run-up to Halloween, Fireworks Night and other Seasonal Celebrations. If there are any questions we haven’t answered please head on over or contact us and we will offer whatever advice we can.

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Maya Animal Alliance

Our partner in Mexico, the Maya Animal Alliance, has been working extremely hard to make a difference in the lives of stray dogs and improve the overpopulation issues that they’re facing. 

The Situation in Mexico 

There are over 20 million stray dogs in Mexico. It is reported that per month, they capture and kill up to 20,000 dogs per month. There is very little in place to prevent neglect and violence towards dogs and anti-cruelty laws and virtually non-existent. From dogs being thrown off boats, left neglected or beaten the situation is dire and Mexican authorities will not prosecute offenders. 

To make matters even worse, stray puppies are being born at an unbelievably alarming rate and sterilisation treatments are rare as the Mexican community believes that neutering a male dog takes away his masculinity. With searing heat, a lack of food and depleted water supplies, the street dogs of Mexico suffer enormous amounts. It is also common for dogs to die from treatable illnesses such as heartworm due to a limited supply of medication. 

This is where the Maya Animal Alliance comes in. 

Maya Animal Alliance 

How it All Began 

Our founder, Nikki Tibbles, met Gillian Wood back in 2018 in Puerto Rico in the recovery area at a mass sterilisation event in Puerto Rico; we financed the recovery team which Gillian managed. It was a match made in heaven and Nikki knew that she had found someone with the same dedication to reducing the world’s stray dog population that she has. From this meeting, a partnership was formed that would get our work in Mexico underway. 

Before working with us, Gil has an impressive track record, with 25 years of experience working within New York shelters. She has been pivotal in creating programmes that have resulted in the highest savings rate for municipal shelters in the USA. Also, she has worked hard to develop recovery protocols that allow mobile veterinarian teams to maximise the number of safe sterilisations they can perform.  

Wild at Heart Foundation Resource Centre 

When a property in Chemuyil became available, Gil and Nikki jumped at the chance to start their dream; of having a facility in the heart of the problem in Mexico. The Wild at Heart Foundation Resource Centre was born. Gil moved from her home in America to Mexico with her 4 rescue dogs to run the centre and from there create the Maya Animal Alliance. 

The Maya Animal Alliance aims to help alleviate the suffering of the street dogs that she witnesses daily in her community. By collaborating with other like-minded animal welfare organisations in Mexico, Gil and the rest of the Alliance will strive to reduce the suffering of companion animals through humane population reduction, education and resource sharing. There is also a big focus on outreach work to provide food and medical care to strays and low-income family-owned dogs. 

We are so proud to find a partner that aligns so closely with what we believe and who is as dedicated to our mission, to change stray dogs’ lives for the better. Read more about Gil and her work with Maya Animal Alliance here.

Recently, we have collaborated to set up their very own Maya Animal Alliance Instagram Page. We would be so grateful if you could give them a follow to show your support and keep up to date with what is happening in Mexico. @maya_animal_alliance

World Rabies Day 

It is important that all dog owners are aware of Rabies and the impact that this disease has on people all over the world.

What is Rabies? 

Rabies is an infectious viral disease that in most cases is fatal. It affects domestic and wild animals, but dogs are the main hosts and transmitters of rabies. Rabies is spread to humans through bites and scratches and has been the cause of tens of thousands of deaths every year, many of whom are children. 

It is found on almost every continent of the world, apart from Antarctica and some small islands. In developed countries it is very well controlled and almost even eliminated. There are many countries, especially those in Africa and Asia, that are still terribly affected by Rabies.  

95% of all the 59,000 agonising rabies deaths a year occur in Africa and Asia. 

If a person contracts Rabies, their options are rather limited. You can either go in search of expensive vaccinations and PEP treatments or face death. This horrific disease literally destroys lives, through death, and also emotionally and financially. 

Millions of dogs, and other animals, suffer and die due to Rabies. Not only because of the disease but also the fear surrounding Rabies which leads to cruelty and culling. In India, for example, the risk of Rabies has caused many Indian people to fear stray dogs. This has led to huge amounts of abuse and neglect, with population control methods including poisonings and beatings, both of which are cruel and ineffective.  

Vaccinating dogs is crucial and offers the communities they live in more protection. With sustained vaccinations over multiple years, the disease can be eliminated. 

We are so proud to have consistently supported both our current project and historic adoption global partners in their hard work on their vaccination campaigns to contribute towards eradicating Rabies. 

Take a look at our Global Projects Page to read more about our contributions.



Great British Beach Clean

With many of Britain’s beaches becoming dog-friendly ‘out of season’, what’s better than an Autumn seaside day out with your pooch? 

Sharing a beach walk with your dog. It’s enrichment galore for even the most ‘townie’ of dogs!  Offering a chance to soak up the sights, sounds and smells, and share an adventure that builds your relationship. From a training perspective pushing boundaries with new experiences, new environments, and new distractions pays dividends in communication, focus and trust.  

The annual Great British Beach Clean by The Marine Conservation Society reveals the extent of environmental hazards on our beaches.  Their aim is to reduce the amount of toxic plastic debris and hazardous palm oil that is washed ashore. Both of which pose serious health concerns for dogs. 

brown dog digging in the sand at the beach - great british beach clean

Plastic Pollution at the Beach

Possibly an uphill struggle considering that every year an estimated 11 million tonnes of plastics enter our oceans, and a further 29 million metric tonnes is expected annually by 2040! Many plastics contain substances in their manufacture that are known endocrine disrupters (EDCs) like PFAs (per-fluoroalkyl) and BPA (bisphenol A). Commonly found in a host of household products, from synthetic clothing, cosmetics, household cleaners, containers, water bottles and tops.  

Worryingly a study published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin estimated that over 14,000 tons of microplastics (tiny plastic particles smaller than 5mm) accumulate on British beaches each year. Endocrine disrupters (EDCs) present in such microplastic particles can get lodged into many beach features like sand and seaweed.  Becoming a threat to your dog as they go sniffing and exploring being easily absorbed through respiration.  With supersonic olfaction and fast metabolisms, dogs absorb chemicals efficiently into their bloodstream. If ingested even a dog’s highly acidic stomach cannot dissolve plastic. 

black and white dog with a nose on plastic

Other Dangers at the Beach

Your dog faces a significant danger from Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), which are becoming increasingly prevalent on the beach. It’s crucial to recognize the potential risks of EDCs and take precautions to prevent exposure, as this can lead to serious health issues. These can include, hormonal disruption, glucose modulation, fatty acid imbalances, and even cancers.  Man-made chemicals are causing harm to marine life and their habitats through ocean and air pollution. Palm oil washing ashore is easily recognizable as solidified white ‘bergs’ resulting from cargo ships cleaning their tanks. Palm oil is used in food manufacturing, beauty products and as biofuel with a distinctive smell likened to diesel.  It can become contaminated with other waste products and, because it is edible, it can be attractive to some dogs.  

There have been many cases of emergency stomach blockages from the substance, along with kidney and liver malfunction after ingestion.  Be mindful also of seawater and the amount your dog may accidentally gulp down. Similarly, an overload of sodium-packed saltwater can cause anything from a mildly upset tummy to kidney and liver damage.  

brown dog swimming in the sea with plastic bottle

Training a reliable recall and working to engage your dog with focus and fun games will help prevent your dog from investigating or ingesting any possible beach threats that could also include discarded fish hooks, dead fish or birds, and even the odd jellyfish. Have a look at our blog post all about practicing recall.

It is so important that we keep our dogs safe when we take them walking, especially to the beach. Why not participate in a beach clean during this year’s Great British Beach Clean and make a difference to your local environment and your dog’s walks?

About the Author – Anna Webb

As a Canine Nutrition and Behaviour expert, Anna combines her psychology degree, with study at the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) and over 20 years of experience. Host of the award-nominated A DOG’S LIFE podcast, she lives in London and is owned by Prudence, a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr. Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. 


Our New Emergency Aid Partners

We have been providing continuous aid to those affected by the conflict in Ukraine and offering financial support to hardworking organizations that are assisting in Ukraine and at the borders. Take a look at our Global Emergency Aid project page to find out more about our overseas work. 

Not only are we supporting global issues, but we are also working hard close to home. Our country is currently facing the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades meaning food banks and other organisations are working relentlessly to support people in need. We have been working to support a busy foodbank in South London to provide pet boxes for those in need and keep these pets with their owners; head over to our UK Emergency Aid page to read more about this. 

We are excited to announce our partnership with Save the Dogs Romania and Street Paws. Stay tuned for updates on how we will support them.

Save the Dogs 

Save the Dogs have been active for about 20 years, with their biggest presence in Romania, but they also work in Ukraine and Italy. They believe that humans have a moral duty to protect animals, and their commitment is to act with empathy and compassion, protecting the dignity and well-being of animals in need.  

Since the invasion began in Ukraine, Save the Dogs has been providing life-saving support to over 4,000 animals. They send food to more than 20 shelters in the Odessa & Kharkiv region; which is in turn distributed by a network of over 400 volunteer street feeders. To date, they have provided over 700,000 kilos of food in outreach deliveries. 

After the recent devasting floods in Kherson, Save the Dogs and other organisations have rescued countless dogs. With the water destroying everything in its path, dogs who were lucky enough not to be chained were found huddled on rooftops seeking rescue. These dogs wouldn’t be alive without the help of these organisations and their dedication to rescuing and feeding. 

Although feeding the dogs has been a priority, preventing the abandoned dogs from reproducing is crucial to control the situation. As we know, sterilisation is the only effective method of controlling the growing stray dog population. Save the Dogs have set up a sterilisation programme in Odessa, with the goal of sterilising 1,000 animals in 6 months.  

We are thrilled to be supporting this initiative by funding 50 sterilisations per month over the next few months. We hope the situation starts to improve and that we see some real changes being made to the stray dog population in Ukraine. 

Street Paws 

For the homeless community, hostels are essential. They provide a safe place to stay and support in finding long-term solutions for housing and reintegration into society. For homeless pet owners, however, there is only a small number of hostels, fewer than 10%, that accept animals into their care. Meaning they either have to give up their pets or continue living on the streets. 

Since 2016, Street Paws has been supporting the homeless community by offering veterinary outreach services.  Their new Dog Champion Scheme supports pet-friendly hostels for those in need, keeping pets and owners together. This scheme includes staff training to ensure their comfort and ability to provide canine first aid. They also assist animals and owners in acclimating to their new environment. During their stay, guests will receive a welcome pack containing essential items and full access to veterinary care.

Waggel is actively sponsoring the onboarding of a new Dog Champion Hostel and generously providing additional funds for the veterinary costs of its residents. We are extremely proud to help a community of people and animals who are often overlooked. We hope that the Dog Champion Scheme provides them with a chance for a safe and happy future.

Having the ability to support the work of these incredible organisations makes us feel so grateful and proud. Especially being able to provide care and respite to those in the community who are most in need.

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