Say No to Nasties!

Adam Henson, TV presenter, farmer and lifelong dog owner, this month kicks off a national campaign Dump The Junk – to help lift the lid on pet food ‘nasties’ found in many dog foods. With 85% of UK dog owners stating they’re unsure of the ingredients in today’s pet foods, we’re keen to encourage more owners to check pet food labels and say no to nasties; as they’re not only low in nutritional value, but can be harmful to a dog’s health and behaviour.
With an easy-to-use Nasties List, we’ve highlighted ingredients that pet owners should avoid, ranging from hidden fillers through to colourings and flavourings. Of course there are plenty of wonderful ingredients out there to feed our pets to keep them happy and healthy, so we’ve also listed our Mealtime Must-Haves to ensure dogs thrive on a nutritionally rich, complete balanced diet.

Please make your  pledge to Dump the Junk from pet foods by clicking here.


Forthglade Launch Cold Pressed Natural Dry Dog Food

Devonian dog lovers Forthglade have been leading the way in natural wet dog food since 1971 and now they’ve set tails wagging with the launch of their first ever 100% natural dry food for dogs. The new cold pressed meals contain high quality nutritionally balanced ingredients, gently pressed for just a few seconds at low temperatures, preserving all the natural goodness.

As with all Forthglade’s meals, the new cold pressed range comes with a no junk promise; no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. The hypo-allergenic recipes include 30% duck or chicken, 5% liver and 5% white fish, as well as brown rice, vegetables, fruit, omega 3 oils, vitamins, minerals and botanicals.

Cold pressing is a wonderful way to preserve the nutritional integrity of the quality ingredients used in Forthglade’s healthy recipes.  As a cooking method it’s a unique and gentle process, retaining natural fibre, vitamins and enzymes. It is also incredibly easy for pets to digest as it breaks down without absorbing water from the dog – it is the most natural way to give your dog dry food.

Available in two recipe options – Duck with Brown Rice and Chicken with Brown Rice.  It can be served as a complete dry meal or mixed with any of the Forthglade wet food ranges. The cold pressed bite-sized pieces are suitable for dogs aged from 2+ months and available in 6kg and 12kg bags, with an RRP of £34.99 and £59.99 respectively. The product is available at, and through independent pet retailers nationwide.


For further information about Forthglade’s cold pressed recipes or the range of natural wet meals visit or email


Mike Smith tries his hand at Grooming...

Mike Smith, Publication manager of Total Grooming tried his hand as a dog groomer on Friday 7th April, Louisa Tandy allowed Mike into her salon, Louisa’s grooming salon in Gravesend. He started with bathing the lovely Lacey (standard Poodle) and then did Blasting, fluff drying, clipping and scissoring.

Here is a little video of his work with more to follow in the May issue of Total Grooming Magazine.

The Cost of Dog Ownership is on the Rise, But the Benefits will Silence Those Having Second Thoughts

Photo credit: Pixabay

The warmth of the welcome you get when you return home can’t be beaten. No matter what the day has dealt you, your dog gives you unconditional love that naturally helps to lift any bad mood. They don’t call a dog man’s best friend for no reason; a dog gives you affection, loyalty and companionship wanting very little in return. For a lot of people a dog is not just a pet but a member of the family and can often take the place of a child or a human companion.

However, the cost of owning a dog is undoubtedly a big factor that still deters some from adding a furry pal to their family. A recent survey by Voucherbox has shown that the lifetime cost of owning a dog is over £15,000. Dog food is one of the highest costs at an average of £420 per year according to said survey. To reduce your costs search for deals or promotions and bulk buy, but whatever you purchase make sure your dog gets a balanced diet.

Lifetime vet costs can vary massively depending on the health of your dog, but some costs are to be expected, such as worming and annual booster shots. Try to reduce your costs by shopping around before joining a practice. Pet insurance can also help with reducing these costs but it also comes at a premium. Consider whether monthly insurance premiums are more manageable for you than costly unexpected vet bills. Check policies carefully as not all will cover conditions that occur on renewal and a lifetime policy might better for you.

Other costs include kennel stays, toys and treats, as well as the initial cost of buying doggy essentials like beds or a kennel, lead and collar. If you decide to undertake professional dog training then the costs will rise further, up to £100 a day with some trainers, so it's certainly a big decision.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Dog ownership isn’t about the cost though, is it? It’s about what a dog gives to you. And to the cynics, the ones that like to look at cold, hard facts, there are even quantifiable advantages to the companionship and love your four-legged friend can provide.

Dog owners get lots health benefits too. A dog will not let you rest until they have had a good walk and play. Walking and getting fresh air are a fantastic way to improve your health. The NHS states that regular walking helps to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. Moreover, a study by the University of Victoria has shown that dog owners walk an average 300 minutes per week compared non-dog owners who walk 168 minutes, with all the good stuff that brings to your health and even your appearance.

Dog owners are also less likely to suffer from stress and high blood pressure as a result of their relationship with their dog. Scientists argue that dog owners’ blood pressure and heart rate were less impacted when under stress than non-dog owners.

In addition to numerous studies, most of us also have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence about dogs helping with rehabilitation from illnesses and keeping elderly dog owners more independent. Further studies have also shown that dogs can help in the case of seizures as well as detect cancer and low blood sugar.

Photo credit: Pixabay

So, dog ownership is certainly more than just about the pleasure of the companionship and the cost of ownership is definitely outweighed by the physical and mental benefits that our furry friends give us. No wonder most dog owners are happy people.



  • Over half (61%) of UK dog owners notice a difference in their dogs behaviour during winter months
  • Nearly half (44%) have considered consulting or have already consulted an expert about their dogs depression
  • 70% of Brits are worried about the low mood of their dogs
  • UK dog owners admit to walking their dogs up to 50% less in winter months compared to summer
  • Over a third (34%) think their dogs eating habits change when they are down

Winter blues are a problem for many, and experts have revealed that our DOGS could also be sharing our pain – with some even suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D).

New research reveals that over half (61%) of UK dog owners say that they notice a considerable difference in their pets’ behaviour over winter months. Symptoms include increased appetite, a reluctance to go outside, low mood and lethargy.

The study, commissioned by natural dog food producer Forthglade, also shows that nearly half of dog owners (44%) say they have either considered consulting or have consulted an expert about their dogs’ seasonal depression.

In addition, over a third (34%) of those surveyed reported that their dogs eating habits change when they are displaying symptoms of depression, whilst nearly a quarter (23%) admit to using food and treats to try and improve their dogs mood.

Experts believe that the less time spent outside in the sunshine during winter months can cause dogs to suffer the same symptoms as humans who have the seasonal condition – and with British dog owners admitting to walking their dogs up to 50%* less in the winter months, this is a very real problem for the nation’s pooches.

Canine behaviourist, Nick Jones, said: “The long dark days of winter don’t just take a toll on the two-legged population. Our four-legged friends also feel the strain with many exhibiting symptoms that replicate the human condition Seasonal Affective Disorder.

“Lethargy, an increased appetite, irritability and a reluctance to go outside and exercise are typical behaviours exhibited by dogs in the colder months when natural sunlight is at a minimum.

“There are simple steps dog owners can take to help their pets. Taking walks in daylight hours is a must, and good nutrition also plays a very big part. Poor diet can be directly linked to lethargy and depression within canines. It’s more important than ever during winter months to feed your dog a healthy natural diet – comfort eating in winter is as bad for pets as it is for humans.”

Despite wanting the best for their dogs, UK owners admit to walking their dogs less in the winter. Fewer daylight hours also mean that walks are shorter, with the study revealing that while *56% of owners walk their dogs for over 30 minutes a session in summer, only 28% do in winter months.

The study also found that over half (61%) of dog owners notice a change in their dogs’ behaviour in the winter months, with nearly three quarters (71%) saying they sleep more than usual.

Other behavioural changes include begging for more food, taking themselves off to a quiet spot in the house alone, and wanting to play less than usual. And more than a third of dog owners believe their pet craves comfort or human food more than usual in the winter months, with nearly a quarter (23%) saying they feed their pet more than they do during the summer.

Gerard Lovell, MD at Forthglade said: “All pet owners want their dogs to be happy, but it seems the winter months can really have a negative impact on our four legged friends. Those of us who suffer from winter blues know how important it is to resist junk food and keep our diets healthy, and the same goes for our pets. Staying active and eating well – the secrets to winterproofing your dog!”


Nick Jones’ top tips for reducing S.A.D. in dogs:

  • During the week, when your time is limited, try placing your pet's bed under a skylight or close to a window to help take advantage of what little light there is
  • Nutrition also plays a big part, and poor diet can be directly linked to lethargy and depression within canines
  • Play games inside the home to stimulate the dog, such as ‘find it’ games up the stairs and in rooms, indoor agility or ‘take it and leave it’ games
  • No matter the size or shape, the garden also offers a great outdoor space for your dog to get some natural sunlight
  • Feed your dog a healthy, natural diet with no artificial additives – eating poor quality dog food, or even our leftover food can increase behavioural problems and isn’t good for your dog’s overall health


Top 10 differences in dog’s behaviour in the winter compared to the summer months 

  1. They sleep more
  2. They are reluctant to go outside
  3. They are less active than usual
  4. They have less energy/ are lethargic
  5. They eat more food generally
  6. They seem hungrier
  7. They take themselves off to a quiet place in the house
  8. They eat more comfort food/beg for human food more often
  9. They seem sadder than usual
  10. They want to play less than usual

Premier Groom - 11th August - reminder about getting your entries in by end of play on the 7th August - entries after this date won't be accepted

Voted Grooming Event of the Year 2012 at the recent Liz Paul Awards, Premier Groom 2013 is fast approaching. Make sure you’ve got 11th August reserved in your diary!

Whether you’re competing or just coming along to meet and chat with fellow groomers there’s plenty for everyone – shopping included!

For full details go to

Plaques and Trophies

Linda Barker - Best in show