Marie Dunnion on Animal Healing

Marie and co.Meet Marie. With a degree was in English literature, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Psychology, and an MSc in Work Psychology and Business, on paper, she sounds rather straight laced at first… and of course she is very academic and clever. However, the is much more to Marie than meets the eye – as she is also an animal healer. We met her at the Kings Heath Cruelty Free X-mas fair in 2011, where she was manning the Animal Freedom charity stall. Since then we have kept in touch and really enjoy her positive personality and inspiring lifestyle. Here’s an article she wrote for us

I feel incredibly honoured that Ethical Pets have invited me to contribute a guest blog and I hope that sharing my story as an Animal Healer will inspire you to welcome more healing energy into your own lives and that of your animal companions. Although not a blog about veganism, I believe it is important to explain the connection between my veganism and my animal healing practice.

Before training as a healer, I was neither vegetarian nor vegan, but as I progressed on my spiritual journey, my heart expanded with love for animals and I eliminated meat from my diet. Once I started studying towards a Diploma in Animal Healing, I felt increasingly uncomfortable about the contradiction between eating animal-based products whilst also healing animals. In psychology, this state of mind is called cognitive dissonance. Again, my love for animals prompted another change in diet and I became vegan.

Animal Healing in Malta Here I am doing an animal healing session with Berry, a little dog who had been abandoned outside the gates of the Island Sanctuary in Malta. He is leaning into the healing and lifting his paw up to allow better access for healing to his heart. His story has a happy ending as he has since been re-homed. You can find out more about the Island Sanctuary at

Veganism is my way of showing love for animals. After all, what is more healing than to ensure that I in no way contribute to the suffering of any other sentient being? I have a great affinity with Buddhism and it’s teaching that we should try never to harm any living being. Perhaps not every Animal Healer will subscribe to this belief system, but this is my story and I can only share with you the experiences of my own heart. Please take from it what you will, and use it to infuse your soul with some animal magic!

What is Animal Healing?

Animal healing is a simple but effective way of radiating loving energy to an animal for their highest good. All animals, great or small, can benefit from healing and this works on many different levels – physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological. During a healing session, I channel healing energies through my hands to the animal, usually maintaining a slight distance between my hands and the animal’s body. Direct hands-on healing may sometimes be appropriate but this will depend on the animal, and personal safety is always a priority.

Another vital ingredient for animal healing is intention. As an Animal Healer, I work from the heart, setting an intention of love which I then channel to the animal. I silently ask for the animal to receive healing, but I then try to detach myself from the outcome of this request. This might sound strange, but I have learnt that it is better to “let go” and just trust that the animal will absorb the healing where it is needed.

When I explain healing to an animal’s guardian, I tell them that it helps the animal to enter into a state of relaxation. The more relaxed an animal is, the better able they are to draw on their own natural resources to deal with illness or injury. It is important to note that animal healing is a complementary therapy. If an animal is ill, veterinary attention should be immediately sought and the vet’s permission asked in relation to complementary therapies.

Healing is not just about touch – it involves all of the senses. For instance, I will usually put on some calming music for a healing session, and this certainly contributes to the animal’s state of relaxation. I even play an animal sound therapy CD to my neighbourhood ducks through the kitchen window. This video shows the amazing results of this sound healing!

Sound Healing with Wild Ducks

The ducks in this video are relaxing to Elizabeth Whiter & Tim Wheater’s Animals Whispers Sound Therapy CD. This unique piece of healing music was recorded with 528 Hz, the frequency of love, and the precise scientific vibration of nature and life itself. You can find out more about this healing music CD at:

Equine Healing

I am also a registered Equine Healer, and although this involves me working in much the same way as I would with animal healing, it involves a slightly different approach because horses are much bigger animals than most and they are known for their sensitive natures. This means that healing a horse can quite often feel like an intensely spiritual experience for the Equine Healer. The day after one equine healing session, I ran into a colleague in the corridor and she complimented me by saying, “You seem very calm!” I am sure she was picking up on the equine energies which I was still carrying with me from the day before!

Equine eyes are so very soulful and, despite their size, horses usually have a very gentle energy. Last year, I did equine healing with a beautiful pony called Peter and the following feedback from Peter’s guardian helps to illustrate how equine healing works in action:

“Marie came out to my pony, Peter, who had just moved yards and I thought the session would help him relax and settle into his new loan home. I was very impressed by the effect the treatment had on Peter, he really relaxed and responded to the treatment during the session. Marie was very calm around Peter who seemed to be very happy with her presence. She constantly advised me what she was doing, why she was doing it and what Peter’s responses meant, which I found useful and interesting so that I was able to understand the process of the treatment” – Rebecca Crowther, Halesowen, West Midlands (21 January 2013).

My animal healing has taken me all over the world and I would like to share with you a very special photo of an equine healing session which took place at Fundación AM-EN in Ecuador – in this picture a circle of healing light is clearly visible around my hands!


Bebeto, the rescue horse pictured, was receiving healing specifically for an inflamed hoof. However, the likelihood is that he would have taken in the healing on many other levels as well. You will see a white mark around his neck, an unfortunate reminder of how he was found tied up, starving, and near death. After my return home, Heidi Paliz, the President of Fundación AM-EN, contacted me to say thank you – Bebeto was healthy and well again! In fact, Heidi was so impressed with the positive effects of equine healing on her horses that she still gets in touch to request distant healing for other equine patients. The great thing about animal healing is that it also travels across the miles!
Crystal Therapy for Animals

My account of animal healing would not be complete without a mention of Crystal Therapy for Animals. Crystals work through resonance and vibration, helping to rebalance the animal’s energy field through the healing energy they emit.

This photo shows my dog, Brandy, lying in a powerful Clear Quartz crystal grid. These twelve crystals were laid around Brandy with the set therapeutic intention of helping to maintain vitality. Animal healing is not only used to treat illness or injury, but also for general relaxation. This approach helps to promote an on-going state of wellbeing in the animal.

Crystals are a special passion of mine and, although I have been a Crystal Therapist for many years, it was with great joy that I recently completed the UK’s first ever training course in Crystal Therapy for Animals at The Animal Magic School of Animal Therapy. This qualification has already proved valuable beyond measure, and I would like to share with you the story of Rosie the cat, as told by her guardian, Julie:

“Marie came a few weeks before Christmas to help our cat, Rosie, who has thyroid problems, asthma and, most recently, the vet discovered she has tumours which, because of the proximity to her aorta, can’t be analysed or removed…After going through Rosie’s medical history, Marie used crystals for the healing and the atmosphere was very calm and relaxing for both myself and Rosie, who sat quite still for about 20 minutes while the healing took place. It was a very warm, calm, relaxing and lovely experience…Marie has continued to do distance healing for her…I am sure this is helping her because she is still very calm and not at all distressed by her illnesses. She is continuing with her medication prescribed by the vet but I am sure she is holding her own because of the healing. Much to the vet’s amazement, she has a healthy appetite and is still her old self. We know that at some point we will have to let her go, but at the moment she is still enjoying her life and all the attention she’s getting” – Julie Perry, Stourbridge, West Midlands (20 January 2013).

Rosie sadly passed over to Rainbow Bridge last month, but the healing she received possibly gave her a better quality of life in those last few precious months with Julie. I would like to dedicate this blog to Rosie and thank Julie for allowing me to share Rosie’s story.

I would also like to thank all of you for taking the time to read this blog and I hope that it has sparkled some fairy dust onto your day. Please get in touch if you would like to know any more about animal healing! If you are interested in booking an animal healing session, these are available in the Norwich area or via Skype for those further afield.
Love & Blessings,

Marie Dunnion – BA (Hons), DipPsych, MSc, MBPsS

Animal Healer, Member of the Healing Animals Organisation (MHAO)

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Hope and Freedom – Two amazing Dogs Trust projects.

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has been helping homeless and vulnerable dog owners for almost 20 years through its Hope and Freedom Projects.

Currently only 7% of hostels are dog-friendly.

The Hope Project

The Dogs Trust Hope Project helps dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis by providing advice, support and veterinary assistance for their dogs.

The Hope Project Veterinary Scheme offers free and subsidised veterinary care to any dog owner who is rough sleeping or living in temporary accommodation. The scheme runs in 100 towns and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and offers free preventative healthcare – microchipping, neutering, vaccinations and flea and worming treatments. Dogs Trust can also subsidise most other essential veterinary treatments that a dog would need. Since the scheme began in 2004, the Hope Project has funded more than 10,000 veterinary treatments.

The Dogs Trust Hope Project also works with providers of homelessness accommodation to encourage them to accept residents with dogs. Unfortunately most homelessness organisations and housing providers in the UK still do not accept clients with dogs. Currently only 7% of hostels are dog-friendly [1]. This means that many people are being denied access to shelter and support, simply because they have a dog. Dogs Trust offers advice to accommodation providers on a range of issues such as introducing a pet policy, health and safety, hygiene and behaviour.

Every Christmas, Dogs Trust works with winter shelters and homelessness projects to provide a Christmas parcel service.

Every Christmas, Dogs Trust works with winter shelters and homelessness projects to provide a Christmas parcel service. Christmas can be an especially difficult and lonely time for people who are homeless. By sending out parcels of treats, toys, coats, collars and leads, the Hope Project tries to make Christmas special for homeless people and their dogs as well as providing essential coats and jumpers to keep the dogs warm during winter.

The Freedom Project

The Dogs Trust Freedom Project is a pet fostering service for dogs belonging to families fleeing from domestic violence.

Each year, thousands of women suffer abuse at the hands of their partner. Research indicates a strong link between animal abuse and domestic violence, with men who are violent to women often threatening or harming a pet in order to intimidate their partner.

Families fleeing domestic violence are usually unable to take their pets with them...

Families fleeing domestic violence are usually unable to take their pets with them into a refuge or temporary accommodation, so in many cases they are reluctant to leave their home until they know there is somewhere safe for their pets.

Dogs Trust offers a service which places dogs in the homes of volunteer foster carers until their owners are in a position to take them back. Dogs Trust covers all expenses so there are no costs for the volunteer foster carer or dog owner. The service operates in Greater London, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire. In Greater London & Hertfordshire, Dogs Trust can also foster cats in partnership with Cats Protection. Since it began in 2004, the Freedom Project has fostered more than 1000 pets.

[1] Homeless UK, Homeless Link.

For more information on Dogs Trust’s Hope and Freedom Projects, please visit

Dogs Trust is funded solely by public generosity. If you would like to make a donation towards the work of the Dogs Trust Hope Project or the Dogs Trust Freedom Project, please go to

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3 New Ethical Products.

This month we have started stocking three new products. Our great eco-bed range (100% recycled plastic and super soft) has been expanded to include a large mattress, for big dogs. It costs 49.99 and measures 100cm x 70cm and a plump 18cm thick. We have also changed the supplier of our poop bags: they are the same size as the old ones (nice and large) but a slightly lighter weight plastic (waste not want not eh?). They also come in packs of 50 (rather than 20) which saves on packaging too! We have carried over the multi-buy offer, 250 bags for 9.99. They are degradable plastic which means that they won’t produce nasty gases when they rot down in landfill. Lastly, we now stock Yarrah Organic Chicken and Turkey Chunks, a great wet cat food. The unusual thing about this food is that it contains only chicken and turkey (and no other types of meat), so if your cat has special dietary needs, you are in more control.

Missi Hathaway on Ethical Pet Insurance

The Importance of Insuring Your Pet

Our pets are part of the family, which is why we should go to great lengths to look after them. If they sadly become ill or have an accident, it is our responsibility to get them the right care. Unfortunately, the cost of taking animals to the vet can be high which is why having the right pet insurance in place can protect owners and the animal. We may not like to think of our animals becoming unwell or getting knocked down on a main road, but if the worst happens, it’s best to be prepared with a comprehensive pet policy. It’s not just illnesses or accidents which require a trip to the local vet either. When we first get our new addition to the family, we need to make sure of a number of things. Depending on the kind of pet you have, you may need to inoculate them from any infections that can be picked up. Kittens for example need a series of injections before they can go outside. You may also want to have them micro chipped. Animals prone to running away or getting stolen can be identified by a chip that brings up the owner’s details when scanned. Neutering or spaying your pet will also prevent any unwanted breeding occurring and can also reduce the cost of a pet insurance policy, albeit marginally.

Getting Insurance For Your Animal

There are different ways to go about insuring pets. You have to look at what is cost effective for you and the kind of animal you own. The most popular pets in Britain are dogs and cats, followed by rabbits. All pets however need to be considered when it comes to those hefty vets bills. Some will require more specialist insurance, such as horses and ponies. You need to check you are covered for public liability insurance, accident cover and if appropriate, horse boxes. Looking at the small print is vital, rather than just going with the cheapest provider. Check your pet is covered for:

* Type or breed of animal
* Travel
* Age of the animal
* More than one pet
* Kennel or cattery fees
* Death
*Accidental damage

You will also need to get the right policy. If you will need long term care for a pet with medical problems, you’ll need a high level cover.

Ethical Pet Insurance

You may feel that investing in your pet is costly, but it is best to be prepared if the worst happens. If you don’t have money put aside, insurance will protect your purse and your pooch. Going with an ethical provider can mean a percentage of the net profit goes to animal charities so you can be involved with helping out other animals in need. When looking for ethical insurance, you can take into consideration how much it will cost you to insure your pet, and how much is donated to charity. For example, the Animal Friends insurance group have so far donated over one million pounds of their profits to welfare charities in the UK and worldwide. They also offer good value insurance.

There are many ethical providers of pet insurance. Some are considered to be eco-friendly as they donate some of the profits they make to help endangered species. Some also contribute to conservation organisations which help to conserve natural habitats for wild animals. These include wetland and wildlife areas as well as protecting plant life. Some of the insurance organisations donate their profits to various animal welfare charities both nationally and internationally. The Co-Operative bank have declined finance from businesses who do not meet animal welfare standards. They will not promote animal testing, blood sports, the fur trade or exploitation of great apes. This means only accepting finance from companies who are not involved in these trades. They are also against intensive farming, which involves farming caged animals.

When deciding on an ethical insurance company, you may consider which to go with on a number of factors. This may depend on which charities the profits are donated to, how eco-friendly they are or which ones contribute to climate change. Some may be clearer on their investments than other companies, so you will know where the money goes.

Also, the cost of the insurance and excess and getting the right kind of insurance for your particular pet is important.

Alternative Ways to Afford the Vet

Saving enough money to put aside for emergencies can have it’s advantages and disadvantages. Using an easy access savings account can help when you need some cash for your poorly pet. The downside would be that you would have to have enough money in your fund in case you need it. If your pet needed an unexpected visit to the vet, you will need some funds to hand.

However, you may to decide not to ensure your pet. The advantage would be if your pet stays well, and you’ve saved money you would have otherwise spent on insurance.

It is a good idea to get a good deal for your savings account, or if you need a low interest loan to use for vets bills. There are ethical ways to save money with mutual savings banks. They are set up by depositors and borrowers, and all the profit is reinvested in itself. Also known as credit unions, joining the scheme is an alternative.

The credit unions are non profit organisations and so you can put away as much as you like into your savings account. The credit unions pay a yearly dividend, meaning you get money back at the end of it on a percentage of what you saved. If you use this as an alternative to pet insurance rather than putting money into insurance, you are also saving. So, if your pet doesn’t require a visit to the vet that year, you have your savings and any extras on top. It could come in handy if anything happened to your beloved companion.


Missi writes on behalf of one of the UK’s largest consumer advice and information portals. She specialises in pet health and insurance topics. She grew up in Southampton, PA but is spending most of 2013 in Manchester, England where she has family.

The Paw Report Report – Vol.1

The new PAW Report, by PDSA and YouGov, lifts the lid on some of the most concerning pet health and welfare issues facing UK pets today. With sections focusing on Diet, Behavior, Health and Ownership, their is lots to read and talk about. This is our review of Section 1 of the report: Food in Focus.

The statistics which really jumped out at me from this part of the report are that that only 3% of dog owners can identify the ideal healthy shape of a dog when shown a range of images and that 56% of cat owners with an overweight cat believe that their cat’s shape is as it should be. Are you one of them? Despite how many people are unsure about their pets weight, people seem well informed about the consequences of chubby pets – fat related diseases and a shorted life span. Somehow, we have learned that fat is bad, but not what fat looks like: checkout our quiz below to see if you can pick out the pets with a healthy figure.

Another worrying issue is that many Rabbit owners are feeding their bunnies incorrectly: remember, rabbit muesli is just for a treat – bunnies should eat at least their own body size in hay or grass each day for their main course, and then just a little muesli and/or fresh veg for pudding.

cat and dog weight quiz

click for answers

Click to see the Paw Report and weight guides for cats and dogs.

Pet Food: Why Organic?


What does “organic” mean in relation to pet food?



Animal Welfare: For Yarrah as an organic pet food company, the most important aspect of organic agriculture is the very high regard for animal welfare. Poultry, cattle and fish form the basis of our premium Nature’s Finest pet food. It is therefore crucial that these animals are treated with dignity and respect. Organic agriculture guarantees that poultry and cattle have room to move and grow at a natural rate in an environment that minimizes stress. Because regulation regarding organic fish do not meet our standards of animal welfare, Yarrah has decided to switch to MSC-fish (read our statement!).
Nothing artificial: Yarrah does not add any chemical colorings, aromatic substances or flavorings. We do not use artificial preservatives: we preserve our dry food with vitamin E and rosemary extracts. For our wet food we use precise temperatures for sterilization. These steps ensure that the valuable vitamins and minerals are not broken down during production.
Our natural and organic recipes contain all the required vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids a dog or cat requires in the correct proportions. All of our products are made from certified organic materials in compliance with EU Regulations for Organic Products. The Dutch organic hallmark (EKO) issued by Skal is the guarantee for the organic origin and manufacture of the products.

All certified organic ingredients are completely traceable to the source. All the organic materials are constantly monitored from start to finish ensuring they meet our stringent requirements. To be sure all the ingredients are 100% organic, Yarrah buys all the ingredients themselves. To give this 100% guarantee the Quality manager of Yarrah visits the producers personally; the larger ones at least once a year, the smaller once at least every other year.

No animal testing: Yarrah deliberately rejects any and all animal testing. Any palatability tests (to gauge the pets acceptance of the product) are carried out in the pets natural home setting. Yarrah does not allow any of our foods to be tested using either captive animals or invasive testing techniques. This has some consequences for our health claims. We cannot claim that our products have beneficial influences for your pet. Luckily there are many people who are very happy with our products and are willing to tell this to others.
Alternative testing: How do we test our products? Simple: if we want to introduce a new flavour or a new product, we ask about 100 dog or cat owners to feed the new product to their pet. Of course none of the ingredients has a health risk, so it is absolutely safe for the pet to eat the new product. If they like the product, we will adopt the new product. We are proud that we can use the logo of the Dutch Society against animal testing.

Why organic pet food? Is it better for our pets?




Yes, organic pet food is better than conventional pet food because what it does NOT have. A dog in general is not very picky when it comes to food. If the food smells good, the dog will eat it. There is a reason that most if not all dogs will always eat (high end) conventional food, the added chemical scents or fragrances that are applied ensure this.

The second reason that organic is better is the lack of preservatives. Conventional dog food is preserved with chemical preservatives to give the food a longer sell by date. Organic pet food has a short shelf life because no chemical preservatives are applied. Natural/organic antioxidants such as rosemary extracts are used instead.Are these chemical fragrances and preservatives really healthy for dogs? Probably not. Can these chemicals cause irritations in dogs? Maybe, but why risk it when they can be avoided.
Arguing that the organic grain and meat ingredients being better than conventional can be controversial. There are many studies that prove organic agriculture produces higher quality, more nutritious products, but there are also studies that claim there are no differences. What organic pet food CAN guarantee is that there are no chemical pesticide residues, genetically modified organisms or pharmaceutical residues in the food.
Organic pet food, at least in Yarrah’s case, also guarantees that we do not use bones, feathers, hooves, blood or other cheap fillers in our products.
Does organic food improve animal welfare for farm animals and wild animals (too)?
Organic farm animals are treated much better than animals in the conventional farming industry. An organic chicken for instance lives twice as long and has over 16 times more space to live on and is able to go outside. The beef Yarrah uses, are completely  grass-fed so no tropical forest have to be cut to grow soy. Organic farmers do not use dangerous pesticides, so also small rodents and useful insects like bees are not harmed.
What changes would Yarrah like to see in the pet food industry? Where would you like pet food to be in 100 years?



The first thing other pet food producers should stop doing, is testing their food on animals in kennels. A dogs life should not be used in this way; it has a right to have a normal life among people in a family.
The next step should be informing the customer truthfully about their products and where the ingredients come from. It is a terrible idea that people do not know that they are feeding their pets with meat of animals that are kept in small cages, with no room to live.
In 100 years, but hopefully much sooner, all pet owners will get the message that harming one animal to feed another is not acceptable. They will demand to know what is in their pet food, they will realize that chemical flavors, fragrances and colors are not needed, and will pick their brand of pet food purely on quality standards and not the amount of marketing budget a brand has available.

Joeys Animal Facts V2 – Live Long (and Large)

Last month was all about speed: this month we are looking at size and longevity. So, which are the heaviest and longest living animals?

Maxing out the scales are the Whales, and there are quite a few of them. The grand-daddy of them all, however, is the Blue Whale, weighing in at 190,000kg (29,919 stone). After the Whales come the Sharks, with the Whale Shark (11,800kg / 1,857 stone) being the heaviest of all fish. The weightiest of all land animals is the African Elephant at 5,000kg (787 stone) – beating it’s Indian cousin (4,000kg / 630 Stones) in to third.

Next, to the wise old heads of the animal kingdom now. The creature which has the longest life expectancy are the marine clans with the fantastic name; Quahog (200.2 yrs). Second is the Giant Tortoise (150 yrs), just ahead of the Greek Tortoise (110 yrs). That should be enough to make everyone feel just that bit younger (and thinner!).

Have you got a question about animals? Email Joey and ask away!

Get your next installment of “Joey’s Animal Facts” by signing up to our monthly newsletter “The Ethical Pets Gazette”

Joeys Animal Facts Vol.2 – Live Long (and Large)

Last month was all about speed: this month we are looking at size and longevity. So, which are the heaviest and longest living animals?

Maxing out the scales are the Whales, and there are quite a few of them. The grand-daddy of them all, however, is the Blue Whale, weighing in at 190,000kg (29,919 stone). After the Whales come the Sharks, with the Whale Shark (11,800kg / 1,857 stone) being the heaviest of all fish. The weightiest of all land animals is the African Elephant at 5,000kg (787 stone) – beating it’s Indian cousin (4,000kg / 630 Stones) in to third.

Next, to the wise old heads of the animal kingdom now. The creature which has the longest life expectancy are the marine clans with the fantastic name; Quahog (200.2 yrs). Second is the Giant Tortoise (150 yrs), just ahead of the Greek Tortoise (110 yrs). That should be enough to make everyone feel just that bit younger (and thinner!).

Have you got a question about animals? Email Joey and ask away!

Get your next installment of “Joey’s Animal Facts” by signing up to our monthly newsletter “The Ethical Pets Gazette”

A Dogs Day (at the office)

science spot logoWe are starting to bring pets into hospitals and nursing homes because we know that they make us happier and healthier (1). So, why not bring pets to work? Barker et al (2012) (2) have done some preliminary research to see what happens when the dog comes to the office.


The study aimed to examine levels of stress during the work day and job satisfaction. They compared between dog owners who brought their dog to work, dog owners who didn’t and people who had no pet at all.

Who gets to take their dog to work?!!

The study took place at Replacements Ltd who have allowed dogs to come work for over 15 years.


The study used three groups, with about 30 participants in each group. One group bought their dogs to work, one did not, and the last group had no pets. To be extra clever, they also measured what happened to the dog group on a day when they didn’t bring the dog to work. Last of all, they took a saliva sample each morning from all the participants, to check for the stress hormone cortisol.


The dogs had no effect on “how valued” by the company the employee felt, however, the group with the dogs reported much lower levels of stress. The group who had no pet reported the next highest levels of stress, and the group who had a dog, but left it at home, were the most stung out of the lot.

The people with no pets, and the people who took their dog to work had a consistent amount of stress throughout the day (be it lower or higher). The people who left their dog at home, however, became more and more stressed as the day went on. Interestingly, on the days that the dog-group left the dog at home… they got more stressed as the day went on too!

The cortisol test showed that the group without a pet were more stressed at the start of the day than the two groups who had pets – however, there were too many other complicating factors to be sure of a correlation.


The most interesting thing we see in this study is the effect of having a pet, but not bringing it to work. The stress levels start off low, but get higher and higher as the day goes on – and they end up even higher than those who have no pets. Why is this? Is the stress-busting effect of the pet wearing off? Do people pine for their pets and worry more for them as the day goes on?

Also – while the dogs didn’t effect how valued the employee felt by the company, this may be because the company makes all their employees feel valued already – perhaps just being allowed to bring a pet to work (even if you don’t have one) can make you feel appreciated.

Don’t the dogs get in the way?

The study also looked at this – and found that most people had a neutral response to the dog. Then, about 20% felt that the dogs made them more productive, and about 20% felt they harmed productivity. Despite this, many positive comments were made by people in this 20%: it seems a lot of concern revolves around poor behaviour, hygiene and allergies rather than a dislike of the dogs.

What next?

This is the first study of its kind – and it was quite small. Future studies would include larger numbers of participants. Also, they could measure more things. Do dogs make us late? Do they make us more or less productive? Also, a comparison between pet owners who work from home and pet owners who commute with their pet, could be really interesting.



(2) Preliminary investigation of employee’s dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions, by Barker, Knisely, Barker, Cobb and Schubert. From International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol5. No1. 2012 page 15-30.

Ethical Pet of the Month – January 2013

Ethical Pet of the Month LogoMaggs

Ethical Pet of the Month, January 2013

A few words by Andy, Magg’s guardian.

Maggs appeared a few months back outside the house, looking forlorn and bedraggled. The neighbors had taken her into their porch and made a make-shift bed for her whilst we all tried to find out if she had an owner. One evening Charlie, my wife, took her in because she was in distress with fleas and the cold – and she’s been here to this day.

She impressed herself upon us with her warm nature and never gave up sitting at the door or coming to greet us… We had never had a pet before and were somewhat reluctant to take her on – but we did, and we have never regretted having her, although the first few weeks were tough because she really wasn’t very well. There were times we thought she might be too poorly to survive – but she made it and rewards our patience with loyalty.

She is an amazing cat – the vet has told us that she is 10 years old – but she is really still active and she clings to the human touch. When I’m working at home she stays by my side and sits on my lap whilst I am editing photos and videos. She sleeps in the kitchen at night and in the morning, as you open the kitchen door, you glimpse her curled paw around the door edge prizing it open to greet you. Although she has lost her miaow – she never stops trying.

Out of all the things in her lovely Ethical Pets hamper, she most adores her bed (the mouse is a close second). Because of her ordeal she craves security and warmth and spends much of her time in there, as you might imagine.

Andy Marshall is an award wining architectural photographer and an award wining social media wizard. He was kind enough to give us some help with social media when we founded Ethical Pets (and knew nothing of Twitter!). At first, we were surprised to hear that Andy had adopted a cat: his studio is tidy and meditative and his mind, totally focused on cameras and buildings… We couldn’t quite picture a noisy, demanding, mouse-dragging cat about the house. But then, we met Maggs… gentle, patient, neat and very affectionate: the perfect cat for a sensitive photographer type! If only she could give our cats some lessons…

Here is our favorite Andy Marshall Art work: