Ed Vaizey and Pepper

Owner’s Name: Ed Vaizey

Constituency: Wantage

Dog’s Name: Pepper

Breed: Cavapoo

Sex: Female

Age: 1

Colour: Apricot

What are your favourite characteristics in your dog?

Pepper is friendly and loving not just to us but also to everyone she meets. She is very well behaved but has a streak of mischief.

How does your dog enhance your day to day life?

Pepper has become a very important member of our family. She greets us all warmly in the morning, plays with us, enjoys her walks and then snuggles up with us in the evening. She makes us all happier, and our children enjoy looking after her. Another benefit of owning a dog is that you meet lots of new people – every time we take her for a walk, we meet someone and have a friendly chat.

What dog welfare issues do you think need tackling?

We must have better regulation of the sale of puppies, without which there is much abuse.  We need to ban third party sales and sales of puppies in pet shops, and licence dog breeders and sellers (set at one litter).

We need a review of the dangerous dogs law which does not stereotype certain breeds, while providing protection for dogs and the public.

I support the current campaign to make stealing a dog a specific criminal offence, as the rise in dog thefts show specific action must now be taken.

How can you minimise stress to your dog during fireworks displays?

Pepper came to us shortly before bonfire night. I stayed at home with her and looked after her, so she felt safe with a companion. I closed windows and curtains to muffle the sound, and also put on some soothing music.  If I had not been there, I would have ensured she also had a quiet room or hiding place to go to.

Why should your dog be crowned Westminster Dog of the Year 2018?

As a new dog, Pepper is a perfect advertisement for the benefits of owning a dog.  We have been through the whole process very recently– from buying from a registered and reputable dog breeder; integrating a puppy into your home; puppy training; and seeing the many benefits owning a dog can bring to a family that has never owned one before.

She is also amazingly cute!

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