Stroking a dog regularly can ‘significantly’ reduce anxiety, study finds

If you want to feel a little less anxious about the world around you, spending time with a canine companion may be the best option.

Dog Stroking

Metro reports that research from Washington State University found regular petting and stroking a dog ‘significantly’ reduced anxiety in students.

What’s more, they also found the students’ cognitive skills improved after spending time with therapy dogs. Students spent four weeks undergoing animal therapy as a means of stress management. This was part of a larger study that took three years to complete and involved 309 students.

The volunteers were assigned to one of three different programmes that featured varying combinations of evidenced-based academic stress management and human – animal interactions. As the study progressed, researchers measured the student’s executive functioning abilities. Essentially, the skills they used to plan, organise, concentrate and motivate themselves. ‘It’s a really powerful finding,’ said human-animal interaction expert Patricia Pendry of the Washington State University.

Professor Pendry was the author of the study, which was published in the journal AERA Open. ‘This study shows that traditional stress management approaches aren’t as effective for this population as programs that focus on providing opportunities to interact with therapy dogs,’ she said. ‘You can’t learn math just by being chill.

‘But when you are looking at the ability to study, engage, concentrate and take a test, then having the animal aspect is very powerful.’ ‘Being calm is helpful for learning especially for those who struggle with stress and learning.’

(Story source: Metro)

Queen’s Speech: Government makes pledges on animal welfare

The government has promised “the highest standards of animal welfare” in the UK as part of the Queen’s Speech.


BBC News reports that outlining its plans for the upcoming Parliament, the pledges ranged from improving standards in zoos to mandatory microchipping for cats.

The measures will be covered by three bills introduced over the next year.

No 10 said it wanted to be a “global leader” on animal welfare and set “high standards for others across the world to follow”.

The proposals have been welcomed by animal charities, with the RSPCA saying they could make “a real and lasting difference”. But the charity also warned the prime minister to make sure the plans were “not a token gesture”.

The government has gone into more detail in a raft of documents accompanying the Queen’s Speech.

In its Action Plan for Animal Welfare, it commits to:

  • Recognising animal sentience – the capacity of animals to have feelings, including pain and suffering – in law through the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
  • Ending the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter and taking “further steps” to limit foie gras trade
  • Bringing in “more effective powers” to tackle livestock worrying as part of its Kept Animals Bill
  • Also using the bill to stop people keeping primates as pets, improving standards in zoos and “cracking down” on puppy smuggling
  • Bringing in mandatory cat microchipping and improving the current databases.

The government also proposed banning the import of hunting trophies – as well as stopping advertising for the trips to hunt them in its Animals Abroad Bill and to implement the Ivory Act it first promised in 2017, under Theresa May.

Animal welfare is a devolved issue, but Westminster will work with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to discuss the policies for broader use.

The government said the plans for the three bills would bring in “greater protections for wild animals by ending low welfare practices”, ensure “effective powers are available to address welfare challenges” for farm animals and recognise “the importance of pets to people’s lives”.

‘Token gesture’

Chief executive of the RSPCA, Chris Sherwood, welcomed the announcements, adding: “We can no longer ignore the inextricable link that exists between the way we treat animals, our own health and that of the planet – but to really achieve a step change, it will take courage from right across government.”

He also called for Boris Johnson to bring in independent advisers on the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill to make sure it was a “success… not a token gesture”.

Becky Thwaites, of national pet charity Blue Cross, also praised the commitments – particularly the crackdown on puppy smuggling, mandatory cat microchipping, banning primates as pets and tackling pet theft.

She said the charity had long campaigned on the issues and looked forward to working on them with the government.

(Story source: BBC News)

A smelly story: Australian dogs poo the weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge each month. Where should it all go?

Pathogenic and methane-producing, poo is the worst part of pet ownership. But in South Australia, a group of enterprising pet owners are piloting solutions.

Dog Poo

I’ve always picked up my dog’s droppings with bittersweet feelings. There’s the gratification of doing the right thing, and the guilt for contributing to plastic waste. This was eased somewhat by using biodegradable bags, but there’s more work to be done.

Animal Medicine Australia estimates there are 5.1m dogs in Australia. A single dog produces approximately 340 grams of waste per day. That means Australia’s dogs drop a mind-boggling weight in poo, 1734 tonnes – equivalent to nine empty jumbo jets every day, or a Sydney Harbour Bridge’s worth monthly.

Where does all that go? If not left for unsuspecting pedestrians to step on, it generally gets picked up and bundled off to landfill.

Leaving the poo isn’t an option; not only will it attract the ire of the community, it can spread disease. Filling precious landfill space with biodegradable or compostable bags isn’t a viable solution either: the first still break down into harmful microplastics (if they are actually biodegradable) and either way the poo produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

There is a win-win remedy. With the right know-how, dog poo can be recycled for compost (and even energy but we’ll leave that to intrepid scientists).

To explore this, and make a difference in their humble neck of the woods, an innovative group of dog lovers from Port Elliot, South Australia, recently teamed up with pet researcher Dr Janette Young from the University of South Australia.

The team devised a 12-week project to trial green waste collection at their local dog park, survey dog owner attitudes, behaviour and poo practices, and educate pet owners about compostable bags and home composting.

In collaboration with Alexandrina Council, compostable dog bag dispensers were installed at the park along with a dedicated poo bin, picked up weekly by a green organic truck. Thanks to the efforts of enthusiastic volunteers who weighed and counted the dog waste collected during the project, results were most encouraging.

“In our trial at just one dog park, we learned that we can divert at least 31,000 plastic bags and five tonnes of dog poop each year via just one green waste bin,” says project coordinator Ruth Miller.

“We also learned that many dog owners are keen to manage dog waste better and do something more for the planet – but they need information and education to help them do this.”

The survey reached nearly 2,000 people and revealed a large, and mostly untapped opportunity to help dog owners do the right thing beyond just “bagging it and binning it”.

“Dog parks are great venues with a relevant and captive audience to introduce dog owners to the merits and methods of diverting dog waste from landfill,” says Miller.

She thinks this was achieved by providing the compostable bags and green collection bins to help visitors practise the new behaviour, along with signage to educate them about compostable bags, the compost symbol, and safe options for composting at home.

“Dog owners need access to compostable bags and green organics bins in public places when they are away from home, especially at dog gathering spaces,” says Miller. “They also need better support and information to be confident to start safely managing dog poop composting at home.

“Small, low-key strategies at home would divert a lot of dog waste and turn it into something useful instead of contributing to a waste problem.”

This doesn’t mean simply digging poo into a hole in the ground, and certainly not putting it in your food compost, as it contains pathogens that first need to be treated.

Happily, there are several alternative options. In Melbourne, one council urged residents to flush their dogs’ poo (but not the bag it comes in), and Compost Revolution sells speciality pet poo composting bins. There’s even a book, The Pet Poo Pocket Guide, on how to safely compost and recycle pet waste into fertiliser for your plants.

Some councils provide compostable bags and will let you put dog poo in the green bin, but it is best to check first. If not, Miller has some suggestions: engage your local councillors, consider applying for a small grant to trial compostable bags, and seek donations from a company that produces them.

(Article source: The Guardian)

Pet Foods Banks: How to support them in the UK

If you’re looking for ways to help local pet owners who might be struggling to take care of their pets as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, why not support a local pet food bank? This article will tell you more about pet food banks, and the types of goods they need.

pet food bank

What is a pet food bank?

A pet food bank is a type of food bank that is dedicated to collecting donations (both of food and pet products and of cash, so that the operator of the food bank can buy goods that they are in greatest need of rather than relying only on being able to provide what people give) and then distributing them to people that need help providing for their pets’ basic needs.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of people are undergoing real hardship and may be struggling to provide for their own basic needs as well as that of their pets. The need for foodbanks in the UK for people has risen a lot over recent years, even before the pandemic had its own impact too, the need for support of this kind was rising already year-on-year.

This means that food banks are busier now than most of them have ever been and naturally, many people in need have pets and need assistance with taking care of them too. Support from a pet food bank could mean the difference between someone being able to keep their pet during hardship versus having to surrender them to a shelter for want of being able to provide for their basic needs.

Who sets up or operates pet food banks?

This is variable; in many areas, local cat and dog charities operate pet food banks, and larger, national charities like the RSPCA and Blue Cross may operate pet food banks at individual local branches too.

Individuals can set up pet food banks and sometimes, veterinary clinics will operate a service inviting donations for others in need. Human food banks too generally provide pet food to people who are eligible for support from them, although you normally have to ask for this specifically.

What do pet food banks supply?

This will largely be dependent on what they can get; while pet food banks also invite cash donations (and these are often more useful as they allow the organizers to buy exactly what is most needed as well as benefit from economies of scale with bulk buying) generally the bulk of what they have available to offer will be based on what the general public tends to give.

In the main part this will be cat and dog food, but also potentially accessories like pet toys, beds and bowls, collars and leads, and potentially other things too, and food for other animals.

How can I find a pet food bank to donate to or volunteer at?

Not all areas have a dedicated pet food bank, although many areas have a service that functions in a similar way. Looking online, in local pet charity groups, and in the contacts details for larger, national pet charities can help.

Contacting the nearest food bank for people too might be helpful as they tend to keep supplies of pet food and/or know where to point their own service users if they need help providing for their pets.

If you really cannot find a service local to you and want to help pets and owners in need, you can always donate pet food to the local human food bank, or even consider setting up a pet food bank yourself.

What sort of things do pet food banks need most?

If you have found a pet food bank and you want to donate to them, they will always be happy to tell you what they are most in need of at any given time.

Cash is always good as well, but generally the type of things pet good banks need include:

  • Reasonable quality dry cat food.
  • Reasonable quality dry dog food.
  • Reasonable quality tins, pouches or trays of cat food.
  • Reasonable quality tins, pouches or trays of dog food.
  • Specialist cat and dog foods, such as grain free, and those for pets with sensitivities.
  • Dog treats.
  • Cat treats.
  • Toys for dogs and cats.
  • Unused or properly cleaned collars, leads, cat carriers, pet beds, blankets, and other accessories.
  • Dog shampoo and other grooming supplies.
  • Good quality food for small pets like rabbits, Guinea pigs, rats, mice and hamsters.
  • Bedding for small animals.

What sort of things can’t pet food banks use?

There are a number of things that people donate with good intentions but that pet food banks cannot use; and if you bought them deliberately, will mean wasted money that could be better spent on other goods for the pet food bank instead. Here are some of the things that pet food banks cannot use:

  • Very poor-quality food for any animal; the type of bottom-end food ranges that are offered in Pound shops or low-cost supermarkets. These tend to have low nutritional value and are often bulked out and contain colourants and other ingredients that disagree with the digestive system of many pets that eat them, which is the last thing a struggling pet owner needs to contend with.
  • Home-made dog treats or foods cannot be used either.
  • Food products that are not designed specifically for pets, like donations of meat and so on.
  • Opened or unsealed packets of pet food, even if unused; such as if your own pet disliked it.
  • Out of date foods or those with no expiry date on the label.
  • Prescription pet medications.
  • Homeopathic remedies and supplements.
  • Supermarket brand flea and tick products and collars.
(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Stray dog found curled up in snow keeping orphaned kittens warm

Over the weekend, while driving on a freezing cold night in Ontario, Canada, a Good Samaritan spotted something that made her stop.


Skytales reports that there, curled up on a snowy roadside, was a shivering stray dog. But she wasn’t alone.

Though the dog could have found a safer place to pass the night, she wasn’t just thinking of herself. A closer look revealed the kind pup had wrapped herself around five orphaned kittens, whom she was cuddling to keep warm in the biting temperatures.

The Good Samaritan, in turn, saved them all from the freezing night by taking them to the Pet and Wildlife Rescue shelter. But by then, an incredible bond between the dog and kittens had already been formed. For rescue staff, learning the circumstances of this case made one thing clear: the pup had saved the kittens’ lives.

“It’s truly heart-warming!” a shelter spokesperson told The Dodo. “It had been a very cold night so these kittens would have had a very hard time surviving.”

The kittens are now safe, but require treatment for flea and worm infestations. Meanwhile, the sweet stray dog who saved them insists on overseeing their progress with regular visits – much like a proud mother. It’s still unclear where the dog or kittens came from originally, or if they knew each other prior to that night. Pet and Wildlife Rescue is hoping an owner will come forward to claim them, but if not they’ll be put up for adoption.

Thanks to that brave pup, however, a sad ending for the kittens was transformed into a happy one. “Our staff sees many difficult situations on a daily basis and stories like this one make every heartache worth it,” the shelter said.

(Story source: Skytales)

Treats, training and time out: How to help your dog get used to life after lockdown

How will dogs cope when lockdown eases and their owners return to normal life? Dog behaviour expert Dr Carri Westgarth has some tips for the transition.

Roxie, my oldest, has particularly struggled with the events of the past year.

Overwhelmed by the sudden change to us all studying and working from home, a few weeks into the first lockdown she began waking in the night and calling out for comfort.

Roxie has always been sociable and has struggled to understand why she’s no longer allowed to say hello to everyone she sees.

You can now often find her sitting vigilantly by the window, desperate for household visitors, but simultaneously anxious at the thought of others encroaching on our personal space again.

Roxie is a pug-chihuahua cross, and she’s not the only dog who will be struggling to come out of lockdown.

Research shows that owning a dog can be good for our health.

Dog owners are more physically active than people without a dog, and during the pandemic especially, their company has been an invaluable tonic.

They have been a reason to leave the house, have given us a break from the bad news and offered the comfort of touch with another physical being.

But what about them? A year is a huge proportion of the life of a dog. For those who have some memory of the “old normal”, life has changed irreversibly.

For the many puppies born into the “new normal”, life so far has left them totally unprepared for what is about to come.

They have been insufficiently socialised in their early life to the everyday people, sights and sounds that they will need to be able to cope with, especially as training classes have been closed.

Many dogs will struggle to cope, unless we take active steps to get them ready.

For Roxie, that means that early on we stopped allowing her to sit by my husband’s side all day and instead closed the door to our dining room where he works.

She can see him through the glass if needed, but she quickly learnt to relax away from him and the night barking stopped.

We make sure we occasionally leave the house without the dogs, so that they remain used to being there alone.

When she barks at pigeons daring to land on her lawn, there’s no point shouting at her for doing wrong. Rather than trying to punish bad behaviour, it is kinder, and more effective, to reward the good behaviour.

If she sees movement out of the window, and doesn’t bark, she gets told she’s a good girl and is sometimes given a food treat.

If she sees movement out of the window, and doesn’t bark, she gets told she’s a good girl and is sometimes given a food treat.

We use closed doors and baby gates to prevent Roxie from obsessively watching out of the windows in the first place. If she can’t see out all the time, she’s less anxious about what might be out there.

Now is the time to evaluate what you need to do to help your dog: what is your dog already struggling with or what might they be likely to struggle with in the next few months?

What can you do to prepare them, so that the transition is stress-free for both you and them?

Here is my advice for making the new normal easier for your dog – and you – to cope with.

Prepare your dog for lockdown easing

At first, let them get used to at least being relaxed in another room away from you, while you are still in the house.

  • Practice leaving the house without your dog. Gradually increase the time your dog is left alone without you.
  • If your dog is struggling with being left alone (for example, whining, pacing, barking), try leaving them with a safe toy containing extra tasty food, that they only get when they are alone. Leaving a radio or television on can also be helpful, if this is a noise that is typical in the house when you are present.
  • If they are too stressed to even eat without you, practice simply walking out of a door and then straight back in, until they relax.
  • Establish a routine, for example timing of feeding and walking, which is going to be similar to what they will need to do when you go back to work.
  • Create extra opportunities for socialisation wherever you can: take your dog into garden centres, pet shops, walk around supermarket car parks or outdoor shopping centres, walk next to busy traffic.
  • Give your dog verbal praise and occasionally a small food reward when they see unknown people and dogs when out. Strangers are good! If possible, ask friends and neighbours to throw treats in the direction of your dog, from a safe distance.
  • Learn about the behavioural signals that your dog is feeling overwhelmed, for example: excessively yawning or licking their lips, turning their head or body away, raising a front paw, walking away, stiffening.
  • Join an online training class in advance of face-to-face class being able to start.
  • If you and your dog need expert help, seek support from an appropriate qualified behaviourist, such as a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.
(Article source: Inews)

Tick Season 2021: How not to remove dog ticks, and the problems you can cause doing so

If your dog gets a tick on them, you should remove it as soon as possible as ticks can spread diseases, and the risk of this increases the longer the tick is in place.


However, you need to go about removing ticks the right way, as otherwise you can cause more problems than you solve.

This article will tell you the most common suggestions people are likely to make for removing ticks from dogs that will do more harm than good, or the ideas you might come up with to remove ticks that you should immediately discount, and why! Read on to learn how not to remove ticks from dogs.

Can you pick ticks off with your fingernails?

No, you can’t remove ticks from dogs with your fingernails. If you find ticks mildly fascinating and this trumps the “eew” factor for you, when you see one latched onto your dog, it can be very tempting to think you could just pinch it off with your nails.

This effect is a bit like when you spot someone else struggling to do something that looks like it should be easy in theory; the urge to take over or push to have a go can be almost overwhelming, even though you know deep down that it probably isn’t! Removing a tick from a dog with your nails is a classical example of this effect, and if doing this ever went according to plan for anyone, they’re the rare exception rather than the rule.

Trying to pinch a tick off with your nails will almost certainly break off the tick’s head under your dog’s skin however carefully you try to do this; hands are strong, nails have narrow edges, it’s going to go wrong. Also, you could only attempt to do this with bare hands, and touching a tick with your bare hands is to be avoided for both “tick” reasons, and because they spread nasty bacteria that can cause serious illnesses like Lyme disease to dogs and humans alike.

Can you pull ticks off with your fingers?

If you’re convinced that you can’t pinch a tick off a dog with your nails and also that you shouldn’t touch a tick with bare hands, can’t you get ticks off with your fingers?

Again, no. you can’t pluck a tick off your dog like this because their heads are buried under your dog’s skin; handling the body of the tick with your fingers will result in pinching it, and to pull a tick off you’d need to apply pressure but also, this pressure is going to probably pop the tick.

This is going to firstly, be gross, and secondly, result in injecting toxins from the tick’s body into your dog’s body, leaving them with part of the dead tick under their skin decaying away and greatly heightening the risk of infection.

Can you remove a tick from a dog with flat tweezers?

Flat-ended tweezers like eyebrow tweezers (straight or sloped) might seem like just the tool for removing a tick from a dog; and blunt ended but pointed tweezers can indeed get ticks off dogs, if you know what you’re doing.

Flat tweezers though are a no; trying to get them between the head and body of the tick is highly unlikely to work, but highly likely to break the tick’s head from its body once more.

Can you push or wiggle a tick to make it detach?

You might think if you poked or wiggled the tick gently it would get annoyed enough to interrupt its meal and waddle off. Does this work? No. Poking or otherwise bothering the body of the tick is far more likely to break the head off under your dog’s skin once again than it is to convince the tick to detach and see what’s going on.

Can you suffocate a tick with a layer of Vaseline?

You might think you could suffocate a tick and either get it to detach from your dog to get air, or kill it off and so cause it to drop away, using Vaseline or some other form of heavy grease.

This is not the case! Ticks, like spiders, have a very low respiration rate and could live under a layer of Vaseline or grease for hours. Even if you did manage to suffocate the tick, all that means is that you’ve got a dead tick attached to your dog now, releasing toxins into their blood stream.

Can you use a flame or hot needle to get a tick off a dog?

One urban legend that did the rounds for far too long was that using a lit match, lighter, or needle that you’d heated up in a flame could get a tick off your dog.

This is an absolute recipe for disaster! You’re extremely likely to burn your dog (remember you can burn your dog’s skin even if the heat source is in proximity and not direct contact to it) and also, even if you get the tick with the flame or heat as well, you’ll probably just kill it in situ. It’s certainly not going to go “ow” and turn around and walk off.

What’s the right way to remove a tick?

There are only two almost fool proof ways to get a tick off a dog safely and fully if you do them properly, and these are using a tool called a tick twister, or using pointed but blunt ended tweezers respectively, in both cases twisting the tick off. Even the right kind of tweezers require an experienced hand to make this work, so a tick twister is the way to go.

What if I don’t have the tools to remove a tick from a dog the right way?

Ok, but what if you just don’t have the right tool to get a tick off your dog and they have a tick on them, what should you do?

If your choices are having a go by any means necessary or doing nothing, then leaving the tick alone is actually the best option. Leaving a tick on a dog does come with risks that increase the longer the tick is in place for, but none of these risks are as great as the risks that come with trying to remove a tick the wrong way.

Contact your vet or even a dog groomer, both of whom will be able to remove a tick for you, or ask another dog owner to lend you a tick twister.

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

Dog refuses to stop barking until biker follows him to abandoned baby

In late December, Junrell Fuentes Revilla was riding his motorcycle through the mountains near Cebu in the Philippines when a dog started running after him.

Stray Dog

Skytales reports that the dog barked and barked, desperate for Revilla’s attention. The biker could sense that the dog was trying to tell him something, so he stopped his motorcycle and approached the pup.

The dog led Revilla into a dumpsite and toward a little squirming bundle on the ground. “To Revilla’s surprise, he found a baby wrapped in a brown towel,” Gea Ybarita, a staff member at Hope for Strays, told The Dodo. “The location where the baby was found is isolated since it’s on the top of the mountain.”

Revilla scooped up the new-born and rushed the baby to the nearest police station, where the Department of Social Welfare stepped in. Thanks to the dog’s quick thinking, the baby was found just in time and was still in good health.

When the story of the stray dog’s heroism spread to the local news, volunteers with the rescue Hope for Strays rushed into the mountains hoping to find the helpful pup. Instead, they came across a man who claimed the dog, named Blacky, belonged to him.

“He showed us the way to his home and to our surprise, Blacky was there with three other dogs,” Ybarita said. “We’ve confirmed he is not a stray at all.”

The rescue workers were relieved that Blacky had a loving home, but it was apparent the dog and his family still needed help. “(Blacky’s owner) stated, ‘No matter how hard life is, even though I’m poor, I feed all of my dogs and take care of them well,’” Ybarita said.

Blacky and his family have since received an outpouring of support from the community, including donations of food, pet supplies and more. While Blacky may not know it, he’s changed the future for him, his family and one very lucky baby girl.

(Story source: Skytales)

These two stray puppies were just rescued, and they refuse to stop hugging each other

The internet is in love with these two cute puppies, who have just been rescued and just can’t help but hugging each other.


Tips to Live reports that apparently, the dogs were adopted by Vietnamese, who found them wandering in the streets of Ho Chi Minh, and now reside in the shrine with Buddhists. The internet however, is still concerned about the cruelty of the previous owners, who left them to starve to death.

One can’t help but wonder what the two have experienced in the streets before being taken in the temple that has made them look so scared and vulnerable. Luckily, the two are in good hands now. They’re getting used to their new home and even trying to learn meditation from the nuns. Just look at that Zen pose! Everything will be alright.

Even so, one thing is for sure now, they are definitely happy to still have each another in their forever home. These two stray dogs had each other when they were in trouble, wandering in the streets of Ho Chi Minh.

They are safe now, but they still won’t let go each other. Those nights in the cold streets are over. They have a home now, and they made it through together. Because he knows that now he has someone to hold his paw, too. Who knows what the sweet pups had to go through in life, but they’re living completely different lives now thanks to their rescuers!

(Story source: Tips to Live)

Senior dog abandoned at gas station becomes the cutest full-time employee

When you hang around somewhere for long enough, people will eventually start to take notice – and that’s exactly what transpired for a stray dog loitering around a gas station’s construction site.


Woof reports that Negão was a stray in Brazil, but his loveable personality and persistence ended up landing him a full time job plus a forever home.

If you just so happen to visit the Shell gas station in the town of Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, there’s a great chance you’ll be greeted by Negão, he’s not your typical gas station employee, but certainly one of the sweetest. Sadly, though, things weren’t always so good for him.

A couple of years ago, Sabrina Planner and her partner purchased a Shell gas that was still under construction. During that period, the pair noticed there was a big senior dog roaming around the construction site. After asking around, they learned he had been dumped by his former owners.

That’s when they stepped in to help. The pair immediately adopted him and took Negão straight to the vet where he was vaccinated and de-wormed. They then bought him some food, a bed to sleep, and a leash to take him on walks.

When the gas station finally opened, Negão was issued with an official employee ID badge, plus a cute little uniform. Negão has surprised everyone with how well he has taken on his role, the happy dog has proven to be a natural at providing world-class customer service – doing it with a smile.

In an interview with The Dodo, Planner explained that;

“Negão waits for people to arrive, and then goes up to say hello, winning them over with his charms. Customers love him. Some people even bring him toys.”

Even though Negão loves his job as the store welcomer, his days aren’t limited to these very short encounters. Every day, an employee from the gas station takes him on walks to through town for exercise – and with the gas station being open 24/7 there’s always someone at hand to make sure Negão is safe and sound.

Negão has become a poster-pup of sorts for a local initiative from the charity Grupo FERA, which aims to pair needy stray dogs with businesses in the event that they cannot find a more traditional home.

Hopefully, Negão’s story can influence other small business to hire a canine staffer, too. After all, who wouldn’t want to be greeted like this when stopping to pump gas?

(Story source: Woof)