The Petcast show

The Petcast

Summary: Love your pet? Love the Petcast! Emma Barton has candid conversations with celebrity guests and some of the UK’s leading pet experts about the big issues facing pet owners across the country.

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 Ask The Vet: Should I Bathe my Pet? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:05:28

In this final episode of our bonus ‘Ask The Vet’ mini-series, Emma Barton and Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay, discuss whether pet owners should be bathing their four-legged friends?  Many people mistakenly believe that their pet’s coat needs to be washed as often as we wash our own hair - but in actual fact, some pets are better left for as long as possible. A lot of our furry friends have sensitive skin and cleaning them too often can really dry out their coat or cause skin irritation, so as responsible owners it’s important to know what precautions to take when washing our pets. Useful Links: - How often should you wash your dog?  - Top 10 tips for looking after a hamster:   See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Pet Scams & Theft | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:23:16

Pet theft and pet scams have been rife over the past year, attributed to the pandemic ‘pet boom’. In this episode, Blue Cross arms pet owners – new and old – on how to protect themselves and their four-legged friends against criminal activity. Alongside Emma Barton and Blue Cross’ Head of Public Affairs, Becky Thwaites, this episode features best-selling author, James Bowen - who talks about his own experience of being scammed when looking to welcome a new puppy into his home.  Becky, who campaigns for better animal welfare legislation across the UK, speaks about why she thinks there has been an increase in pet thefts and scams: “Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic it has led to a massive increase in people wanting to get a new pet for their lives, but that goes hand-in-hand with a massive increase in prices and demand.  “And then you've got just more of the criminal element to the trade, so, we’re seeing things like pet theft, scams and a legally bread puppies coming into the country, so unfortunately, there's just a lot of  bad guys out there trying to take advantage of people that just want a lovely new pet for their life.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ask The Vet: Could My Pet Get Dementia? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:05:37

Emma Barton and Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay, delve into the topic of pets and dementia. Have you ever wondered if your pet could be living with dementia, or what would happen if their memory started to deteriorate? Perhaps you have started to notice them acting a little strangely in their old age, but aren’t sure why?  In this episode, Caroline and Emma discuss how pet owners can spot the signs of dementia, and what they can do to keep their pet pals happy and comfortable following a diagnosis.  Useful Links: - Caring for older cats: - Caring for older dogs: - Care for the older horse:   See for privacy and opt-out information.

 The Love Language of Pets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:31:42

Emma Barton, along with pop star turned farmer, JB Gill and Becky Skyrme; Animal Behaviourist at Blue Cross, delve into the myriad of weird and wonderful ways that pets show affection, solicit love and attention, and let their owners know they’re happy. From dogs to cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and even horses, this episode explores the sounds and behaviours that indicate your pet’s own unique love language. Becky Skyrme shares her expert knowledge into animal behaviours and provides the listeners with an insight into what their four-legged friends might be trying to tell them: “There are individual differences, and you do become tuned in to your own pet and their little quirks and ways. But there are certainly some general signs as well to look out for. “Anything to do with their bodies, the tail being an obvious one – a loose, sweeping, wagging tail from side to side is generally an indicator that a dog is happy or excited about what’s happening.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ask The Vet: Why Does My Dog Eat Poo? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:05:33

Emma Barton and Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay, discuss the strange eating habits of dogs! It’s a stomach-churning sight for us humans but many dogs like to eat poo otherwise known as coprophagia - the eating of faeces or dung. Horse manure, cow pats, cat poo, fox poop and even other dogs’ faeces are common favourites. But surely our dogs don’t do this just to make us feel nauseous? So, why exactly do our dogs eat poo? A common misconception is that this means your dog has a nutritional deficiency. However, as Caroline explains, it is more likely that there is a more straightforward explanation. Useful Links: - Why does my dog eat poop? - Why does my dog eat grass? - Can dogs eat apples, grapes, potatoes and other fruit and veg?  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Pets & Mental Health | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:24:19

TV personality, Nicola McLean, and Blue Cross’s Pet Bereavement Support Service Manager, Diane James, join Emma Barton to explore the incredible link between pets and our mental health. Over the last year, there has been a marked increase in the number of people struggling with their mental health because of the pandemic. To help those who may be feeling the effects, Emma and her guests will be touching upon how owning a pet can boost our mental wellbeing and the benefits of having pets in work environments and retirement homes, whilst also looking into how a pet owner’s own mental health can impact their pets. Delving deeper into the amazing impact pets can have on our lives, Diane James says: “It’s not just assistance dogs, but all pets can give you a form of companionship treatment, it can be therapy to improve your social, emotional or cognitive abilities and we’ve known even horses, for example, to provide this. “We’ve rehomed horses at Blue Cross where we had a case of a young lady who didn’t want to brush her hair, but when she saw a horse being groomed it encouraged her to brush her hair. “It’s the joy they bring us, but it is also the social and emotional things they bring into our lives that are great.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ask The Vet: How do I know if my pet is overweight? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:06:04

Emma Barton and Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay, discuss one of the most common questions asked – Is my pet too fat? Being overweight can have lasting consequences and can even be fatal to pets. Studies have shown that overweight pets do not live as long and are more prone to illnesses that spoil their quality of life, such as arthritis, breathing difficulties, heart problems and diabetes. Should you be able to feel dog’s ribs? Should I change my pets’ diet, or just feed them less? With Caroline’s top tips and advice on how to keep your pet healthy and happy, pet owners listening to this episode will be able to navigate the world of pet diets seamlessly. Useful Links: - What should I feed my puppy? Read Blue Cross’s top advice here: - A horse’s natural diet includes a variety of grasses of different types and age (from fresh growth to older rougher stalks) and also other herbs and weeds. Find out more here: - Did you know that rabbits need three different food types for a healthy diet?  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Social Media, Your Kids & Your Pets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:22:48

Penny Lancaster joins Emma Barton and Blue Cross Animal Behaviorist, Claire Haynes, to discuss modern family life with pets and why it’s important to read animal behaviour within a family environment. From tips on how to get your children stuck into caring for dogs and cats, to advice on when it’s right to introduce your young family members to new furry friends, this episode has it covered! Delving deeper into the impact that social media trends are having on our pets, Claire, Penny and Emma discuss why it is essential for parents to educate their children on the importance of responsible pet ownership – to ensuring all our four-legged friends are happy and safe. Blue Cross’s Animal Behaviorist Claire Haynes speaks about how positive trends should be more of a focus for viral videos: “Not all animals are suitable to do what you might see online…sometimes it can feel like the social media presence is more important than our relationship with our pets, [but] trust is the most important thing.  “What we'd really like to see is content that promotes the trust we have with our animals, that shows examples of happy animals or dogs doing cool things that make them happy – showing what can be achieved through a positive rewards-based relationship with your dog.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ask The Vet: Does My Pet Get Allergies? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:07:25

In the second episode of our bonus ‘Ask The Vet’ mini-series, Emma Barton and Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay, delve into the topic of pets and allergies. Have you ever wondered if your dog suffers with hayfever, or what to do if your pet has a food allergy? In this episode, Caroline, along with Emma and her furry co-host, Poppy Dog, discuss what pet owners can do to keep their pet pals healthy and safe all year round. Humans are not the only ones to suffer with allergies - our four-legged friends do too. Allergies can be caused by many different environment factors and, depending on the cause and your dog’s reaction, can be managed in various ways.  From food and skin to flea allergies, The Petcast’s ‘Ask The Vet’ episodes will give listeners the best tips, tricks and guidance for all pets. Top Tips for Pet Allergies - Do you think your dog suffers from any food or skin allergies? Check out this guide for advice:  - Feline asthma is an immunity-related condition and can be triggered by an allergy or stress. Find out more here:   See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Socialising Your Pets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:36:06

Emma Barton is joined by her dance-partner-in-crime, Anton Du Beke, and Blue Cross Animal Behaviourist, Leigh-Ann Reed, to discuss how pet owners can best manage their pets in social situations – especially over the busy summer period. Whether you’re at your local park, dropping by a friend’s house, or away on staycation, socialising your pet – with both humans and other pets - can come with its challenges. In this episode, Emma, Anton, and Leigh-Ann, share some tips and advice on how to keep your pet safe, happy, and relaxed in such social situations. Leigh-Ann also shares her expertise on what signs of stress and anxiety to be aware of in your pets whilst you are out and about, so that pet owners can feel confident managing this type of behaviour: “Try to avoid forcing [your dog’s] into situations, so if they seem reluctant that is probably your first sign that they are struggling a little. But really, as they are all so individual, different things can frighten different pets. So, it is the case of watching your dog, learning to read their body language and what they are trying to tell you and then responding appropriately.” Useful links on how to socialise your pets this summer - Walking your dog in a group with other four-legged friends can be lots of fun but requires preparation and focused training. Before you em-bark on this journey read Blue Cross’s guide on group walking with your dog:  - Some dogs have never seen a horse before, and if they are scared or nervous they may react by chasing the horse. This can cause problems for the horse, the rider, other members of the public and the dog. Blue Cross has teamed up with the British Horse Society and the National Police Chiefs' Council to offer advice on how to avoid this troublesome situation:  - Deciding if you want to take your pet on holiday with you? Read Blue Cross’s pet-friendly holidays guide:  - Children and cats can be best friends for life, but first impressions count. Blue Cross’s tips will help get their relationship off to the best start:  - Dogs are part of the family and while your dog will be well used to the family unit they live in, they will be less familiar with people who visit your home. So, whether you’re hosting a schoolmate play date, looking after the grandchildren, or have friends and family round for a summer BBQ, it pays to be prepared:   See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Ask The Vet: Should I Brush My Pet's Teeth? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:05:23

Introducing the first episode of our bonus ‘Ask The Vet’ mini-series, where Emma Barton and her co-host, Poppy Dog, explore some of the common questions we ask about our pets with Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay. Should I brush my pet’s teeth? Can I use toothpaste? And is there a special brush I need to buy? In this debut episode, Caroline provides pet owners with an introduction to oral hygiene for our four-legged friends. Pets use their teeth daily, and not just for eating – they use them to play, explore and taste a lot their surroundings too. So, making sure your pet’s teeth are cared for, is incredibly ‘impaw-tant’. From how to keep your animal relaxed for brushing, to what pets should (or should not) have their teeth cleaned – you'll come away feeling a lot more comfortable and confident about ‘teeth time’ with their furry friends. Useful Links - As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure. Here is an expert guide into how to keep your dog’s teeth clean: - The most common reasons for using anaesthetics on rabbits are for dental work and routine neutering. To read more about how to look after you Rabbit’s teeth visit: - Teeth are important and, just like people, cats’ benefit from regular dental care. For a full guide into the basic healthcare in cats head over to: Meet Caroline Reay Caroline has been the Chief Veterinary Surgeon at Blue Cross in Merton, South London, for more than 10 years. Caroline’s career has been almost exclusively in small animal practice, but she has additional qualifications in Companion Animal Behavior Counselling and Radiology.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Pet Summer Safety | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:35:34

We are all looking forward to some warm weather and sunshine this summer, but does your pet feel the same way? Back by paw-pular demand, the first episode of this new Petcast series follows our animal-loving host, Emma Barton, and her co-host, Poppy Dog, as they explore how we can keep our pets safe this summer - along with special guests, British Paralympian, Hollie Arnold MBE, and Blue Cross Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Caroline Reay. Over the summer months, pets are susceptible to a whole host of health and safety issues, including dehydration, respiratory issues, overheating and insect stings. From cool-down techniques and summertime treats, to pet CPR and staycation preparation – Petcast listeners are provided with all the tips and tricks that they need to prevent their pets from potential risks this summer. To help keep our four-legged friends happy and healthy during the summer, Veterinary specialist Caroline Reay also talks about sunscreen: “When they are playing and having a good time with the family, pets don’t realise how hot they are getting, so it is very hard for animals to adjust to the weather. “It’s a good idea for dogs to wear pet-safe sunscreen – particularly for white dogs and hairless areas. One area we need to be careful about is the bridge of their nose, and cats can also have problems and get sunburn on the top of their ears.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Things We Wish We Could Ask Our Pets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:46:57

Is it normal for my rabbit to thump its feet all the time? And why do my dog’s ears go back? Does my cat purr too much? In this final episode of The Petcast, Blue Cross Rehoming Manager, Kayleigh Hill, joins presenter Emma Barton to answer some of the most commonly Googled questions about our pets. Plus, Loose Women’s Kaye Adams asks some of the questions that she has always wondered about her beloved dog, Bea. Discussing horses, rabbits, dogs, cats and more, this animal loving trio uncover what our pets are really trying to tell us with their unusual quirks and unique personality habits. Kaye also finds out why her dog Bea always brings her a gift (often a shoe!) when she arrives home, and Kayleigh shares some tips and tricks around road safety: “We would always advise to keep your dogs secure on a lead, anywhere that there might be traffic, but there is always a situation where they may get free. In that instance, if you have done some really good training with a stop queue it can save their lives, even in a situation where they are distracted by something. “Therefore, you want to build distractions into their training … so that if the situation ever arises they will automatically listen to that command when you ask them for a stop - because you never know when that’ll save their life!”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Should I Get A Puppy? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:44:16

Emma Barton is joined by Blue Cross’s Animal Behaviourist, Claire Haynes, to discuss the rewards and realities that come with owning a puppy. Former CBBC presenter and presenter of BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks, Katie Thistleton, also joins Emma and Claire to talk about her love of dogs and decide if now is the right time to bring a puppy into her busy life. From puppy proofing the home during the first weeks of their arrival, to socialising with other people and their pets at the park, the trio draw on their previous experiences and Claire’s expert knowledge to share useful tips, tricks and hacks with Petcast listeners. Claire also explains that puppy training should begin the day that they arrive in your new home, and shares some advice: “Puppies learn by their environment and they learn from how we respond to them. So if you get your puppy home and they jump on the sofa and you give them a good cuddle, that’s totally fine, but you’re rewarding your puppy for that behaviour, so it’s that awareness of knowing that how you respond to what they do is how they learn what’s right and wrong.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.

 Creating The Paw-fect Partnership – Children & Pets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:29:17

Growing up alongside a pet can be a wonderful experience for a child, so it is essential to think about the needs of everyone in the home and ensure the relationship works for both people and pets. Many parents look for advice on how to get these relationships right, so in this episode of The Petcast, Emma is joined by Kerry Taylor from the Blue Cross Educational Team, to discuss the many different species that may be a wonderful addition to a family home – and how everyone can work together to ensure that their chosen pets have a happy, healthy life. From tips on how to get your children thinking responsibly about pet care, to the common mistakes to avoid when introducing a pet to young children, Kerry and Emma have a candid conversation around the key things to consider when welcoming a new pet into your family and home.  On top of these tips and tricks, Kerry also speaks about how some social media platforms and trends might be more harm than fun when it comes to filming our pets:  “You have to think, is this fun? When you look at some of these videos of the trend of scaring your pet and seeing their reaction, or getting in their face and seeing how they react … we are putting pets into a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared and they can’t tell us. In some of these videos, you can see their body language – dogs with wide eyes and their ears are back showing they are worried. “What worries me is people watching these videos in society, especially young children… and thinking that it is okay to put animals in that situation. I understand that people think it is a little bit of fun, but when you look at it, it’s not nice to put our pets in that situation.”  See for privacy and opt-out information.


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