Cavaliers as Companions
June / July 2020
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes

William Lowndes
"William Lowndes, Auditor of His Majesty’s Court of Exchequer" by Thomas Gainsborough (1771)

Posey for your Sweetheart
"Posey for your Sweetheart" by Hariette Sutcliffe (1881-1921)


The coronavirus lockdown has had a massive impact on our day-to-day lives. Many people have had to adjust to totally new routines with some on furlough and many others working from home. Dogs very quickly become aware of changes within their households. But while people adjust to lockdown life, there are things that can be done to help our dogs feel more comfortable. All dogs should have a safe spot in the house to enjoy when they need some quiet time. This could be a spare room, a crate or simply a bed in the corner. Here they could have their bed and their favourite toys. Adult dogs on average sleep for between 12 and 16 hours a day, and puppies need even more sleep. Most dogs will sleep during the day while their families are at work and school, so having their owners around constantly during lockdown means many dogs aren’t getting the rest they need, therefore a quiet spot where they can get some sleep is essential.

Under current guidelines you can leave your house for exercise, but walking routes may be busier than usual with other walkers and cyclists, or runners now unable to visit the gym. If your dog struggles with any of these, planning your route and avoiding popular times is crucial. Your dog may find their new routine more stressful than usual, so be understanding of this. Do not allow people to come up and stroke your dog. Although there is no indication that dogs can be carriers of Covid-19, if an infected person pets your dog or gets their breath on their coat it could remain there for a while.

A pioneering scheme has been set up in collaboration between the charity Medical Detection Dogs, which has the Duchess of Cornwall as its patron, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University. It is aiming to train sniffer dogs to sniff out people who are carrying Covid-19, even though they may not be showing symptoms. At present they are training six dogs, Cockers and Labradors and have been given £500,000 to fast track the scheme. They have previously been successful in sniffing out malaria and that hope to have these first dogs fully trained within the next two months and if successful specially trained Covid-19 sniffer dogs could be deployed at airports, train stations and other transport hubs and would be able to screen a thousand people in an hour. A Labrador, for example, has 350 million sensors in its nose compared to just five million in a human nose.


Many parents have found their adolescents can be somewhat unruly and disobedient. Researchers have now found a similar pattern in young dogs. A study, mainly of Labradors and Springers, have found that well trained puppies suddenly started to become less obedient and slightly unruly at around the age of eight months. After a short period their behaviour then improved. It’s probably a rebellious stage in which they are trying to establish their place in the pack.


Dental hygiene is one aspect of dog keeping that is often overlooked, probably because people don’t often look in a dog’s mouth. However, teeth cleaning should be a regular part of your grooming regime to keep your dog in peek condition. There are a number of ‘chew toys’ available on the market that claim to help keep your dog’s teeth in good condition, but these should be in addition to and not instead of regular brushing. Tooth decay appears to be more prevalent in smaller breeds than in larger breeds and I’m uncertain as to why this should be, so it is therefore most important that you brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Daily brushing is ideal but to keep their teeth in tip top condition you should not go longer than two days without brushing them.

It is especially important to keep their teeth clean as a link has been found between tooth decay and heart problems. It has long been known that periodontitis is linked to early signs of heart disease, particularly the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries. Although this has nothing whatsoever to do with MVD we do not want to add other heart problems to our dogs. A recent study has identified a bacteria – porphyromonas gingivalis – as one of the main culprits of both gum and heart disease. It is thought that bacteria in the mouth can trigger an immune response, increasing production of T. lymphycytes, which are part of the body’s defence system. Once the immune system is provoked into attacking the gingivalis bacteria it moves on to the proteins in blood vessels. The result is that is starts a process that leads to the build up of fatty substances. It is therefore important that great attention is paid to dental hygiene for both ourselves and our dogs.

There are many kinds of doggy toothpastes available, some are meat or chicken flavoured but all are very good. Pictured below are three types of brushes available for dogs. A double bristle brush for cleaning front and back together, a finger stool type and a more conventional small brush.

Tooth Brushes


A dog’s paws are extremely well designed. They are tough and efficient in allowing their bearer to walk anywhere. Over hard rough surfaces, grass, wet sand, snow, ice and even shiny wooden floors. Below the wrist are five metacarpal bones, four of the pastern form the foot and the fifth one forming the dew claw on the inside of the dog’s forelegs. These are all bound together by muscle, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels. The dog’s front feet have five pads. The large Metacarpal and four digital pads. These pads consist of subcutaneous fatty tissue which are firm cushions covered in a rough textured skin. A similar set up is found in the hind legs, though in most cavaliers the dew claw is absent.

Dogs Front Pad

When grooming our dogs we should look daily at our dog’s feet especially after exercise. Checking the nail beds and between the pads. Making sure there are no cuts, infections or untoward growths. Some dogs can and do develop cysts in between their toes. Also do check that no grass seeds have penetrated the soft tissue between the pads, (a common cause of distress in dogs during hot dry summer months).

Small stones and grit can become lodged here, as can discarded chewing gum, and again in warmer weather, (when we get some!) molten tar deposits can also be a hazard. Whilst in icy conditions and where rock salt has been laid do make sure when you return from your walks to immerse your dog’s feet in warm water to wash out the salt. As it has been noted that this can be toxic if ingested.

Nails should be kept short and if you do try to cut these do hold the paw up to the light so that the blood vessel can clearly be seen. (Black nails are much more difficult to ascertain where the vessel is.)

Dog Nail

Being very careful to cut just below this line. The dew claw will also need to be cut from time to time, as these have no contact with the ground and can tend to grow very long, sometimes curling around and almost growing back into the dog’s leg. If you feel that you are unable to trim these yourself, do ask at your veterinary surgery for more professional help.


Citizen CanineA Dog’s Life: A Celebration of Our Best Friend
By Hannah Dale
Publisher: Batsford

This beautiful little gift book features over 50 dogs painted by Hannah Dale in her uniquely quirky, characterful style. From the faithful Labrador and the bouncy Cocker Spaniel to the loveable Old English Sheepdog, plus of course our favourite Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. So many other breeds are delightfully brought to life by this award-winning artist. Each portrait is accompanied by insightful and entertaining text. A wonderful reference and beautiful gift book for all dog lovers.

A History of Britain in 100 DogsA History of Britain in 100 Dogs
By Emma White
Publisher: The History Press

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Britain from Roman times to the present and looks at our native British breeds and the extraordinary roles they played in society, from providing entertainment to herding livestock to guiding the visually impaired. Dogs have fought with us in war, searched for us in trouble, aided us in industry and offered companionship with no reward. They crop up in almost every aspect of history, and offer a fascinating insight into the shaping of our nation.

A Passion for CavaliersA Passion for Cavaliers
By Mary Colburn-Green

This is the fourth and final volume in Mary Colburn-Green’s beautiful quartet of books. In past Cavaliers as Companions reviewed the previous three; ‘Cavaliers as Friends’, ‘Fashionista Cavaliers’ and ‘Adorable Cavaliers’. With 260 pages and 1,000 original photos of Cavaliers from around the world, ‘A Passion for Cavaliers’ is by far the largest. This limited-edition coffee table book celebrates the beauty of Cavaliers and includes chapters on Precious Puppies, Cavaliers in Nature, Regal Cavaliers, Golden Oldies, Cavaliers in Art and Cavaliers in Agility. It also includes really valuable Resource section. There are photos from as many as 500 different breeders, pet owners and artists in the book. For details on how to obtain a copy please contact Mary at:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel HandbookThe Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Handbook
By Linda Whitwam

When the first black and white edition was published in December 2018 I thought that it was the most comprehensive and up to date book on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It covers so much and is the perfect book for both a person who has just purchased a Cavalier puppy as their very first dog and also for the experienced Cavalier breeder. With detailed chapters on the history of the breed, training young puppies, feeding, socialisation, health issues, breeding and showing. The book has an abundance of great photos and now that it has been published in full colour it is an absolute must for any Cavalier owner. She has done an enormous amount of research in compiling this book by contacting quite a few established breeders both here in the UK and also in the States. This is also the ideal book for breeders to recommend to puppy buyers. The book is available from Amazon at:


With summer approaching many dog owners like their pet to join them for a swim or a cool dip in a swimming pool. That is great, but strict precautions should always be observed in case the dog gets into difficulty. Leila Grandemange of Grandville Cavaliers has produced a YouTube video with good guidance.

YouTube Video on Dogs In Swimming Pools


Helping Mummy Duck with her babies

Helping Mummy Duck with her babies


"A most beautiful smile can be achieved by gazing at the face of a dog that loves you."

For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read some truly inspirational articles by logging on to the Pawz and Pray page at


If you have any questions about owning a Cavalier then click on the envelope to email Dennis and Tina who will only be too pleased to try and help you.

However please remember that we are not Vets or Lawyers so questions on these topics should be addressed to the professionals for advice.

Questions and answers that are of interest to other owners may be published on this page.

The Cavalier Club is not responsible for external website content.
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