Beagle dog lying on grass looking towards camera, the word WAG overlayed.

Dear dog lovers,

Welcome to the first-ever online Wag, the magazine for Dogs Trust friends and supporters.

Scroll through for doggy dispatches from lockdown - from readers’ handsome hounds, to loveable dogs from our Leeds centre.

We also bring you summer advice, including how to keep your best friend happy and healthy in the heat and tips for creating a dog-friendly garden.

Carry on scrolling to read about dog care in the time of Corona. This feature is packed with practical advice for looking after your pooch during lockdown. We’ve also included a whole series of videos that focus on keeping your dog entertained at home.

We hope you love our new edition as much as we do. Get in touch to let us know what you think, or to suggest ideas for next time.

Summer, dog in field of yellow flowers

Gardens and hot weather

The weather is warming up, and our gardens are blooming, so it's a great time to make sure yours is dog-friendly.

Lockdown hounds

Though coronavirus has meant our rehoming centres aren't open to the public the way they normally would be, we've still been able to rehome lots of dogs during lockdown with a new socially-distanced rehoming process.

Throughout lockdown, the dogs in our care have been extremely well looked after by our rehoming staff – they’re not called canine carers for nothing. We hope you enjoy these snaps of some lovelies from our Leeds rehoming centre, taken by our talented media assistant, Kevin Johnson, and the rest of the Leeds rehoming team (a proper bunch of David Baileys).

Dogs Trust Leeds is just one of our 21 rehoming centres, where our devoted staff keep around 1,400 dogs healthy and happy. Take a look at our website to find out which dogs are available for adoption. Click on the gallery below for a closer look at our Lockdown hounds.

I scream, you scream,
your dog screams for ice
cream

There’s nothing we Brits enjoy more than some delicious ice cream and now so can your favourite pooch. Here's a delicious and healthy(ish) fido-friendly ice cream for your doggo to enjoy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 400 ml can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 x bananas, peeled
  • 500 g frozen berries

METHOD

Pop the coconut milk and peeled bananas into a blender or food processor. Blitz until the banana is completely mixed. Add the frozen berries and process for another 10 seconds, or until the berries are roughly chopped.

If you have an ice cream machine, pour the mixture into the chilled bowl and churn for 20 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to a suitable container, cover, and freeze overnight. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a 2-litre container. Put it into the freezer for 1 hour or until it’s just starting to freeze. Whisk it with a fork, and put it back into the freezer for another hour. Repeat this twice more, then leave it to firm up in the freezer overnight.

Ice cream should be an occasional treat, don’t give it to your dog very often!

Warning: artificial sweeteners can be dangerous for dogs so use unsweetened coconut milk.

Is your dog’s tag up to date?

If your dog goes missing, contact details on the tag on their collar often provide the best chance of being reunited with them. It’s also a legal requirement for any dog in a public space.

Choose from a range of acrylic, silver, brass or Dogs Trust-branded yellow tags, priced from just £5.95, including personalised engraving and delivery. What’s more, all profits help us continue to support the dogs in our care.

advice, graying spaniel looking to camera

Dog care in the time of corona

The global COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting lockdown, has meant big changes for dog owners and our four-legged friends. Now, as lockdown lifts, things are changing again, so it’s a good idea to start preparing your pooch for the new normal.

Dog School

When lockdown was announced back in March, we were forced to suspend face-to-face Dog School classes. But we weren’t going to give up that easily! We set to work adapting our training programme and developing new ways to support dog owners. For anyone signed up to classes already, we quickly went virtual and helped lots of our doggy students complete their training online.

We knew there would be lots of new dog owners across the UK, as online searches for ‘buy a puppy’ surged by 120% in the first month of lockdown, and we saw a 48% increase in people looking to adopt a dog from us. So we set up one-to-one online sessions, to help those seeking support with their dog’s training. They proved popular!

We’re so glad we’ve been able to make a difference for owners and their dogs during this difficult time. And as lockdown continues to ease, we’re putting safety measure in place to be able to restart face-to-face training classes! Keep an eye on our website, and follow us on social media, to find out when we’ll be back in the classroom.

Keep boredom at
bay for Buster

Looking for ways to keep your pooch busy indoors? Never fear, our Dog School coaches are here with lots of fun tricks to keep your dog trained and entertained at home.

Learn how to teach your dog the snoot challenge, how to do a perfect figure of eight, and even how to read!

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery whose support helps to fund Dog School

Zooming out of
the classroom

and into your living room

Every year our Education Team visits hundreds of schools and works with thousands of children, giving interactive lessons about animal welfare and responsible dog ownership.

Since the start of lockdown, we haven’t been able to visit classrooms but that hasn’t stopped us helping the nation’s kids learn all about dog safety! Our team has virtually visited 14 schools, teaching more than 300 learners about the importance of being dog smart.

We’ve also been able to start offering online workshops for families with children under 14, and it’s been really exciting to be able to help people in new ways! In private sessions, we aim to build children’s practical skills for being safe around dogs, and to give parents the confidence to recognise when to intervene. Each 30-45-minute workshop is personalised based on your children’s ages and your pooch – and it’s completely free! Why not book a session?

News, close up of kind charles spaniel

EMERGENCY REPORT: our response to the COVID-19 crisis

Our in-depth report highlights the impact of Covid-19 on the nation’s dogs, and our fears that up to 40,000 extra dogs could need help. Click through to read about our response to the crisis, and how you can help.

Make sure your dog is always protected with our free Canine Care Card

During these difficult times, we understand why dog owners might be more concerned than ever about what would happen if they could no longer care for their beloved four-legged friends.That’s why we want to support dog owners across the UK with our free Canine Care Card scheme.

We’re extending our service, and Dogs Trust will now care for and rehome your dog, not only if you pass away before them, but should you move into a care home or become seriously ill. We’ll do all we can to find a responsible, caring new owner for your dog. And in the unlikely event that we can’t find your dog a home, we’ll look after them for the rest of their life, because we never put down a healthy dog.

The project helping free dog owners from domestic abuse

Lockdown is making domestic abuse worse. We know that the dogs of people who experience abuse are at risk from harm too.

Gemma was in an abusive relationship for three years. Both Gemma and her dog, Dusty, came under attack. Gemma felt there was no way she could leave Dusty behind. But that’s when she heard about the Freedom Project. We found a foster home for Dusty within 24 hours – and Gemma was able to flee to a refuge for safety.

Are you ready for take off?

Our new catalogue season has finally launched. We hope you’ll be jumping for joy - just like this loveable pup - when you see the amazing new products we have to offer.

There’s something for all occasions, and gifts for both two and four-legged friends. No need to count down – just blast off and get shopping!

Generation Pup

Generation Pup is our groundbreaking study. It aims to track the behaviour and health of 10,000 dogs throughout their whole lives – from your puppy’s first ride in the car, right up to their doggy retirement lounging in front of the fire. We’ll use the information we learn to improve the lives of all dog-kind. If you have a puppy under 16 weeks of age, any breed or crossbreed, we’d love to hear from you!

For the love of dog, beagle in summery garden

Pandemic pups

Meet Misty. This tiny pup came to us at just 12 weeks old as lockdown restrictions had started to lift, and she had already experienced more than most. Not only born during a pandemic, she had also been in three different homes. Unfortunately Misty could no longer stay with her owner and urgently needed a place to go. She had been through so much already, at such a tender age. We knew we had to help.

Misty came into our care at a time of social distancing. She was understandably anxious and unsure about the outside world. For her and many puppies born this year, it will be hard to learn the crucial skills needed to be comfortable around people and other dogs. Skills that would prepare them for life when it returns to normal.

To help Misty settle in a real-life environment and get the extra TLC she needed, we placed her in a foster home with a member of staff. There she could receive essential training and much-needed socialisation with other staff members while visiting the office. She will remain in our care until we find her a forever home to continue to flourish. But this is only possible thanks to support from people like you.

As we all adapt to life returning to normal, we know more dogs will need our help. Please give a gift today to help care for dogs like Misty who need us, during this crisis and beyond.

Waggy thanks

A massive waggy-tailed thank you to Pets at Home VIP club members for your support! We are incredibly grateful, now more than ever, to everyone who has chosen to donate their VIP Lifelines to us every time you shop at Pets at Home. You are building vital Lifelines that not only keep our dogs fed on Wainwright’s, but also enable our rehoming centres to get toys, treats and some much-needed supplies for our Very Important Pooches!

Doggo's got talent

Last edition, we requested entries to Wag magazine’s very own Doggo's Got Talent competition. We were inundated with emails from proud dog owners, showcasing their pooches’ special talents. Our judges crowned blind Boston Terrier, Gusdog, and his human, Cath Lumley, 2020’s winners. Gusdog sadly lost both his eyes after running into a tree two years ago. But this hasn’t stopped him becoming an agility superstar.

Check out his skills in the video that landed him the winning spot. You can also watch runner up Cesar Boo’s special trick.

Hello, is it Alfie you’re looking for?

Local celeb Alfie the Shih-Tzu lands his best role yet: beloved pet of Howard and Georgina Cherry

Alfie needed a special family who were willing to take on his treatment for diabetes and an eye condition. After he’d been in Dogs Trust Shoreham for nearly a year without finding a new home, our staff reached out to the local media for help.

The press instantly fell in love with the handsome chap, and after featuring him in multiple news stories, made him an overnight celebrity. But despite his celebrity status, nobody came forward to welcome him into their home. Luckily for Alfie, Howard and Georgina Cherry spotted him on our website a few weeks later and rushed to the centre to meet him.

We weren’t looking for a dog, but I happened to be on the Dogs Trust website and saw Alfie wearing his blue bandana. Living an hour’s drive from the centre, we knew nothing about his local celebrity status, so it all came out of the blue a couple of weeks later when Georgina googled him and found out more than she’d bargained for.
Howard
Alfie has astounded us at how quickly he’s settled into our family. He loves a nap on the bed after breakfast and can typically be found lounging on the sofa.
Georgina

Readers' dogs

Click through the gallery below to see some of our readers' lovely four-legged friends.

Send us photos of your favourite pooch and your doggy pal might feature in the Wag gallery!

Sign up and be the first to hear about Wag and our vital work


Thanks to this issue's contributors: Katie Bentley, Cat Charles, Rose Exall, Leila Farndell, Rose Fellowes, Jordan Harris, Kevin Johnson, Jess Lenten, Emma Meaden, Jane Murray, Charlotte Ottavini, Deana Selby, Amy Wing.

And thanks for reading!

Reg charity nos.227523 (England and Wales), SCO37843 (Scotland)
Wag summer © Dogs Trust 2020