SME-News 2020 UK Enterprise Awards

I was delighted when, in June 2020, I received an email from SME-News informing me that Mere Mutts Dog Walking and Animal Care Services had been awarded:

Most Accommodating Dog Walking Business 2020 – Shropshire

They went on to say that “Mere Mutts Dog Walking and Animal Care Services, like all of our victors, has demonstrated excellence, commitment, dedication even in the face of uncertainty. For this, we humbly commend you!”

As all my clients well know, I do try to be as flexible as possible, and will always try and accommodate their animal related requests for help: I therefore feel that this is a very apt award to have been given!


Global Canine Welfare membership

I am proud to announce that I have become a member of Global Canine Welfare. Global Canine Welfare is the fastest growing dog welfare network and they are committed to promoting the positive welfare of dogs. Membership of the organisation is recognised as a seal of approval in demonstrating my commitment to canine welfare and enables me to use their logo on all my promotional material to show that I provide the highest level of care for your dogs.

More information about them can be found on their website:


Lux Magazine Pet Product and Services Awards 2019

Following on from last year’s award, I was again entered into the voting for this year’s Lux Magazine Pet Produce and Services Awards and was delighted to have been voted as The Most Reliable Dog Walking Company 2019 in Shropshire

Click on the link below to see the press release for this award


Leaders in Luxury Programme 2019

Earlier this year, I was thrilled to receive an email from LUXlife magazine informing me that Mere Mutts Dog Walking and Animal Care Services had been awarded Shropshire’s Most Outstanding Pet Walking Service – 2019 within their 2019’s Leaders in Luxury programme.

The Leaders in Luxury programme aims to highlight and commend only the best in the hospitality industry and to pay homage to the hardworking people behind these innovative companies – ranging from restaurants and photographers to pet services and designers.

Each participant was hand-picked by their in-house research team, who examined and researched companies from across the globe to ensure that they awarded on merit and not popularity, and recognised – simply – the very best in the business.

What an accolade!!

Here is a copy of the certificate that I have been awarded.


Professional Dog Walkers’ Guidelines

A group of leading animal organisations have joined forces to release a set of guidelines to ensure high welfare standards in the unregulated profession of dog walking.

Dogs Trust, Pet Industry Federation (PIF) and RSPCA all worked together to produce the Professional Dog Walkers’ Guidelines in a bid to ensure the best welfare for dogs who are being walked by professional dog walkers employed by their owners, as well as to assist the dog walkers in meeting the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.

I have attached a copy of the Guidelines here for you to read.


Dog Thefts

Did you know that pet theft has seen a sharp increase recently, with dog theft rising by 6.8% in the last 12 months? It’s a worrying tend isn’t it? 

I recently read an article, in the August 2018 edition of Your Dog, about dog thefts and thought that it would be useful to highlight the main points from it here. The research was carried out by Direct Line insurance company. 

  • An average of 5 dogs are stolen each day, although this number might be higher due to some owners not reporting the theft and the different ways that police forces categorise pet thefts 
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most commonly stolen breed, followed by cross-breeds, such as Cockerpoos, and then French Bulldogs 
  • Stolen dogs have only a 20% chance of being reunited with their owners 
  • The high values placed on prestige pets are making them more attractive to thieves, as people are prepared to pay large amounts for them 
  • TV advertising can have a huge impact on people’s desires when it comes to puppy buying 

The photo below outlines 13 tips to help keep your dog safe (source: Your Dog magazine August 2018) 

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe


Alabama Rot – update November 2018

It appears that there may be good news on the Alabama Rot front – researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have made a ground-breaking discovery in the fight against it; as reported in the October 2018 edition of Your Dog magazine.

Apparently, after noticing similarities between Alabama Rot and thrombotic microangiopathy (a rare disease in humans), a treatment involving plasma exchange has been developed for dogs. This involves filtering the patient’s blood so that toxic substances are removed, before returning it to the patient. RVC reported that 2 out of 6 dogs who underwent treatment made a full recovery and they are optimistic that this plasma exchange treatment will play an important role in the treatment of Alabama Rot.

Promising news, indeed!


Shropshire Weekly Article

In June 2018, the Shropshire Weekly ran an article about me in their magazine. Below are the photos that were taken of me for the article and the article itself (click link to open as a pdf file)

Shropshire Weekly article 22 June 2018

Weekly pics. Dog walker Grania Miller from Mere Mutts Dog Walking & Animal Care Service in Ellesmere. Grania with Billy the dog along the canal in Ellesmere.

Weekly pics. Dog walker Grania Miller from Mere Mutts Dog Walking & Animal Care Service in Ellesmere. Grania with Billy the dog along the canal in Ellesmere.


Alabama Rot

The following information has been taken from The Countryfile Magazine website

There is also a very good interactive map on the Vets4pets website – click here

Guide to Alabama rot dog disease.

What is Alabama dog rot?

Alabama dog rot is a disease that causes damage to a dog’s blood vessels and the kidney. It is a mysterious disease which is hard to identify and sadly, very difficult to treat. Because no one has been able to determine what causes the disease, it is now only recognisable by its collection of symptoms.

How many dogs have been affected in the UK?

Since the disease was first detected in 2012 in the UK the number of cases of Alabama dog rot in dogs has risen. The most serious outbreak was in the New Forest region of Hampshire but there have also been reported cases in several other counties, with the most recent cases reported in Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Devon, Dorset, Cheshire, Warwickshire, Greater Manchester and Worcestershire.

So far this year (March 2018), there have been nearly 30 confirmed cases already, following 40 cases in 2017 and 19 in 2016.

How is Alabama dog rot spread?

There has been some speculation that walking dogs in particular areas of the countryside may be a contributing factor, but the Forestry Commission has yet to warn of any specific sites being dangerous.

Many thousands of dogs are walked in the countryside every day and it is important to remember that only a very small number of dogs have been affected.

How do I prevent my dog from contracting Alabama rot?

There are no specific steps you can take to prevent your dog from contracting the disease, but there is some evidence of seasonal fluctuation, with most cases appearing between November and June.

New advice suggests keeping your dog away from very muddy areas as it is suspected the disease spreads from muddy and wooded areas – dog owners who do walk their dogs in these places are advised to wash off any mud as soon as possible, and of course, keep close control of their dogs at all times to monitor where they go.

What signs should I look out for in my dog?

The first sign of Alabama Rot is skin sores that have not been caused by a physical injury. These sores can present as lesions, swelling, a patch of red skin, or may be open and ulcer-like. The sores are most commonly found below the knee or elbow or occasionally on the stomach or face. Usually, this will cause localised hair loss and the dog will begin licking the wound. These lesions will be followed – between two and seven days later – with outward symptoms of kidney failure: reduced appetite, fatigue, and vomiting.

Affected dogs will also develop signs of severe depression, loss of appetite and vomiting, quickly accompanied by acute injury to the kidneys.

What should I do if I think my dog has Alabama rot?

The best outcomes seem to be achieved by catching it early and the animal receiving high-quality veterinary care. Whilst some infected dogs do survive the treatments of skin sores and kidney failure, unfortunately, many do not – it is estimated that treatment is only successful in around 20-30% of cases.

It is important, however, not to get overly worried by this as the percentage of dogs in the UK who have contracted this disease is truly minuscule. Though, what is vital, is that you understand the problem and know what to look out for, should your dog come into contact with it, as time plays a large part in successfully treating the disease.

What is the source of Alabama dog rot?

The source of the disease is unknown, with the Environment Agency ruling out any chemical contamination in water supplies. Experts believe the disease is “very similar” to Alabama Rot, thought to be related to a toxin produced by E. Coli bacteria. However, no evidence of this has been found after no signs were shown on the infected dogs.


Lux Magazine Pet Product and Services Awards 2018

In March 2018, I was delighted to be announced as the Best Dog Walking Services Provider for Shropshire in the Lux Magazine Pet Product and Services Awards 2018.

Click on the link below for more information about this (NB. takes you to an external website)

Pet Product & Services Awards