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Category Archives: Debates

Debate: should cats be allowed out at night?

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A close up of a striped cat

Not so long ago, most cats were let out each evening to roam as they pleased while their owners slept peacefully. Nowadays it’s becoming less common. With around one in four cats killed on the road, should all our feline friends be locked in at night? Sophie Mackenzie examines the issue for Petplan.

If you are a cat owner, you will be familiar with the feeling of being jerked from sleep in the small hours by needle-sharp claws kneading your body.

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Do our pets understand us?

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A kitten looking surprised

“Just look at him – he understands every word we’re saying!” It’s a boast we often hear from doting dog owners, but how much do our canine companions and their feline friends really comprehend?

Scientists have been studying pets’ language learning ability for decades, with some remarkable discoveries.

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Debate: Do pets pose a significant hygiene risk?

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Pet-Hygiene

When it comes to hygiene, pet owners are a varied bunch – from the relaxed cat-lover who happily permits everything from counter-surfing to face-licking, to the anxious dog owner who won’t allow their companion upstairs and insists on post-fuss hand-washing. But who’s right? Here, Sophie Mackenzie looks at the science behind pets and hygiene, and persuades some brave pet owners to reveal their breaches of best practice.

It’s well known that people with pets, on the whole, are healthier and live longer than those without. This is partly because of the stress-busting effect our companion animals have, but also because exposure to them boosts immunity, especially in children. So at what point does close proximity to pets stop being beneficial and start being a bit unsanitary, or even dangerous?

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Is it fine to share your bed with your pet? Debate update

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petbed

Does snuggling up with your pet help you both to get a good night’s sleep, or is letting your companion into bed strictly off limits?

From pusses on pillows to dogs under duvets, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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Debate: Are the laws on dog ownership fair?

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guard dog

With the recent announcement of changes to dog-ownership laws, plus a host of local bylaws to stick to, these are confusing times for dog-lovers. We want to know what you think. Are the Government and Local Authorities fair to dog owners, or are they too strict?

The rules and regulations that make up the laws on dog ownership have been put in place with the best intentions. They are intended to protect dogs, owners and the general public. But it can be hard to keep track of additions and changes, and sometimes it might feel like unreasonable restrictions are being placed on your enjoyment of dogs.

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Debate: Would you ever own an exotic pet?

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petlizard

From lizards to llamas, there are thousands of unusual pets sharing the homes of Britain’s animal-lovers. But how exotic is too exotic?

If an allergy or lack of outdoor space precludes you from owning a dog, cat or rabbit, or you simply long for something a bit different, then have you considered chatting to a cockatiel or interacting with an iguana?

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Debate: Are foxes a problem for pet owners?

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fox_debate_main

Foxes are thriving in our cities, and despite their reputation for raiding bins, digging up lawns and making loud mating calls, a survey carried out by Channel 4’s Foxes Live programme showed that the vast majority of people in Britain like foxes.

We want to know what pet owners think.

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Debate: Is it right or wrong to dress up pets?

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Canine Sorceress

Alison Jones, owner of pet clothing company Prince & Princess Petwear, explains why she thinks dressing up your pet is just a bit of harmless fun. In response, Lyn Williams, founder of dog charity Happy Dogs, reveals why she’s opposed to terriers in tutus.

THE CASE FOR DRESSING UP, BY ALISON JONES

‘We started off selling collars on eBay and it snowballed from there. Business is really booming and we’ve had our best year yet. We ship pet clothes to Japan, Scandinavia and Estonia – but the UK market has really taken off.

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Pet pictures could make you work harder

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Kitten in a picture frame

We recently told you about research that found owning a pet can bring health benefits and may even help you live longer. Now a Japanese study has discovered that having a picture of your pet on your desk may boost your performance at work.

The experiment, carried out at Hiroshima University, discovered that looking at pictures of cute animals may increase concentration by up to 10 per cent, thanks to a ‘cuteness-triggered positive emotion’ associated with taking motivation from anything that makes you feel good.

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What do you wish you’d known before you got a pet? Part 2

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garbage can

Earlier this year, we devoted a blog post to the things you wish you’d known before you got your pet. We had a fantastic response, so we decided to ask 10 of our favourite mummy and pet travel bloggers, too. Their responses express the joys and challenges of juggling a family and pet.

‘I wish I’d known about the early morning rubbish clearances. Even though we feed our pet a healthy diet, she still cannot refuse the allure of bins.

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