The most pet friendly types of flooring for a happy dog


We are a nation of pet lovers, but sharing our homes with furry friends can create challenges when it comes to maintaining hygiene and cleanliness.


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Research carried out by the PMFA indicates that almost 25% of UK homes have a dog. While our canine companions offer us love and comfort, their muddy paws, moulting fur, slobbery jaws and excitable temperaments can be less favourable for our interiors. There are ways, however, to pet-proof your homes, or at least your flooring, against the mess that pets can create. Here are just a few pet-friendly flooring solutions for keeping your home clean.


Traditional cork flooring isn’t to everyone’s taste, but a new, innovative product known as Vi-plank cork flooring combines all of the benefits of cork while maintaining the desirable aesthetics of hardwood. The product is easy to clean, scratch resistant and will withstand lots of wear. It’s also sound proof, meaning that clattering claws will no longer be a problem either.


Bamboo is a great eco-friendly flooring solution for all homes, but even more so if you have pets in the house. It is exceptionally durable, as it is harder than most wood, and also resists scratches easily. It is very easy to keep clean and is less likely to become permanently damaged by stains or fluid than other flooring options.

Carpet tiling

For areas of the house where wooden or laminate flooring isn’t appropriate, carpet tiles (like these found at could be a convenient alternative. Carpet tiling is exactly what it sounds like – individual tiles of carpet that not only give a modern interior effect, but also offer the reassurance that should one section of carpet become spoiled, it can simply be removed and replaced. Clearly this is a far more cost effective option than replacing a whole carpet.

Stain resistant carpet

Another option for no-stress carpeting is stain resistant carpets. These carpets use specific coatings and materials designed to prevent fluids or other substances from soaking into the carpet and staining it. They’re ideal for those heart-in-the-mouth moments when your new puppy knocks over a glass of red wine on a cream rug! Best of all, the products are usually sustainably designed, without using chemicals, making them safe as well as stain-proof.

In Reviews

What does FDA clearance actually mean?


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving a number of products, including medical appliances and drugs, for use in the medical industry. When an item has been granted FDA clearance, it means the benefits outweigh any possible risks.


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FDA evaluation process

There is a three-tier screening system that the FDA uses to decide whether an item requires approval and how substantial this process should be. Last year the FDA gave approval for 45 new molecular entities, which was the highest level since 1996.

Higher risk products, such as medical devices or implants that are completely new, require a more stringent assessment, whereas moderate risk items, including products similar to something that already has approval, will be screened under a 510k notification. The FDA does not need to approve low risk goods, such as bandages.


How do manufacturers receive FDA clearance?

When considering how long does it take to get a FDA 510k approved, this will depend on how extensive the process needs to be. The manufacturer of the device or drug must give the FDA proof that it is an effective and safe form of treatment. Nothing can be completely risk free, but all the tests and research need to show that the benefits of using it outweigh any risks to a patient.

The FDA does not carry out its own tests; instead, it reviews clinical trial results and other studies undertaken by the manufacturer to assess the possible risks. During the human trials, drug and medical device manufacturers need to work alongside the FDA to ensure that these meet the right standards and participants are treated safely. When considering how long does it take to get a FDA 510k approved, the success of these trails can be an important factor.

To decide whether a drug or device should be approved, the FDA will work with its own team of statisticians, chemists, physicians, biologists and other medical experts to assess the available data.

It will then clear the drug for use in treating, curing or preventing certain conditions if the benefits are worth any potential risks; however, doctors also have the freedom to use a drug off-label if they believe an individual patient will respond better but the FDA has not approved it for this particular use.

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Ever wonder why you have a bad back when you’ve been sat in the office all day?


Back pain is one of the most common work related injuries. You don’t have to lift heavy objects to injure your back. Poor ergonomics in the office and resulting poor posture can be very bad for you.

Scenarios that may ring a bell

If you have been away from work and someone has taken your chair, you may be given a spare which just doesn’t suit your needs. If you have a small office and not enough room to sit correctly at your desk. As a result of this, you have boxes piled up under your desk and can’t stretch your legs. Headset broken and so you hold the receiver against your head with your shoulder while you type? If any of these sound familiar then you could be storing up potential problems for yourself. None of these actions encourage proper posture.


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It may be time to approach your boss as legally you are entitled to a workstation that allows you to do the following:

  • Balance your head, not leaning
  • Arms relaxed
  • Forearms parallel to desk
  • Sit back in chair with good back support
  • Screen arms length away
  • Top of screen at eye level
  • Space behind knee
  • Feet flat on floor or footrest

Ideally furniture would be specifically designed for you. After all, so many hours of a person’s working life might be spent in an office in a sedentary position.  If this is something your company might consider then visit for unique hand crafted furniture.

If you spend most of the day sitting at a desk then you should regularly rest your eyes from the screen. Be sure to stretch your legs and take a walk. Instead of waiting for all your prints, get up and walk to the photocopier every time you print something.

Be mindful of your posture, as sitting at a desk for prolonged periods can lead to slouching. Personally I like the idea of the standing desk. The main aim is to keep you on your feet for as long as possible. People have reported feeling more energetic and enthusiastic when they are more physically active and this has resulted in increased productivity.

It is in the company’s best interests to respond to workstation problems as the amount of revenue lost due to sick days will be considerably more. Back problems are not the only issue, poor ergonomics can also lead to repetitive strain injury in the arms, wrists and hands.

In Reviews

DHL pairs up with Toyota to deliver new racking systems


Two major firms are reportedly set to work together in order to transport large volumes of warehouse storage equipment.


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A pairing of two firms

DHL, the world’s largest logistics company in the air/sea mail sector, is set to team up with Toyota Material Handling Group to safely transport storage solutions to sites all over Europe. A range of racking systems, shelving and other warehouse storage solutions will be transported by the DHL freight network.

DHL, a company with a long and respectable reputation, have the added pressure of meeting tight deadlines and ensuring that delivery is made on the specified day; otherwise, companies will not be able to get started on their individual projects.

Ireland bin racks and beyond

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “where can I find bin racks in Ireland or pallets in the Penines?”, DHL has the answer. They will be responsible for ensuring a wide range of items are shipped safely and on time.

Timing is everything

While the lead time for each delivery may vary, it is extremely important that the materials from Toyota reach their customer sites at exactly the right time. If it is too early, there will be inadequate provisions for receiving and storing large volumes of equipment. On the other hand, if it’s too late, the setup of the warehouse will be delayed, leading to further delays and possible costs incurred with the development of the project.

Logistically challenged

The logistics of transporting such diverse cargo can be challenging. With an array of items of all shapes and sizes required to set up racking and other warehouse storage systems, any one installation could need anything from 13-meter poles and racks to tiny boxes. Miss anything and the whole system could become dysfunctional. Because many of these items may come from different locations all over Europe, DHL are also tasked with consolidating everything and ensuring that it arrives together on time. Therefore, the firm has had to draft in a number of advanced and creative planning techniques to ensure the process runs smoothly, including IT processes used to manage the flow of goods transportation in the automotive sector.

DHL has a big task on its hands. Over the course of the project, it is estimated that more than 90,000 tonnes worth of freight will be transported.

In Reviews

Top jobs to do in the garden this month


Autumn is now well and truly in full swing and with this time of the year comes with it an opportunity to get out into the garden before the colder winter weather sets in. So, just what jobs do eager green-fingered gardeners need to do at this time of the year?


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Bulb planting

Flowers need to germinate from the soil in the spring to dazzle you with their brightly coloured beauty, but they need to be planted in the autumn, at a depth of approximately 2-3 times their height, with their tips facing upwards, before covering them in soil and pressing down firmly.

Maintain the lawn

Hand propelled petrol lawn mowers are great for cutting the lawn and as well as regular cutting, you will also need to give your lawn some TLC at this time of year. Remove fallen leaves to allow the sunlight to get through to the grass underneath. You should cut your lawn for the last time before winter at the start of November, to a height of around 5cms. According to the BBC, it is also a good idea to improve the drainage in your garden before the heavy rain begins by aerating the lawn with a garden fork.


Autumn is the best time to transplant plants, as the soil is filled with moisture from the rain, but is still warm from the summer sun, ensuring that your plants have sufficient time to get accustomed to their new placement and put down their roots. This is also a good opportunity to plant new flowers such as roses before the cold winter frosts set in. You can use hand propelled petrol lawn mowers to mow the grass to create more space for new plants.

Cutting hedges

Take this time to cut hedges back to help to stop them from decaying and rotting if they get too damp. It is also a good idea to remove fallen tree leaves from your hedge, as they will stop the sun and fresh air from getting to the plant, which can also cause the hedge to rot.

It is also sensible to perk everything up with some nutritious feed before the winter, and you should avoid walking on the lawn if it is frosty, as this can damage the grass.

In Reviews

Why you need to get enough iron in your diet to be healthy


The mineral iron is needed for many bodily functions and is an essential part of our diets. One of its most important roles is as a component of the haemoglobin molecule that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide around our bodies. Iron is also essential for the transmission of nerve impulses. The body cannot create its own iron, so it is necessary to take in sufficient iron through your diet. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating and anaemia. Read more

In Reviews

Why even home caterers need commercial equipment


It’s the dream of every home chef whose signature dish, handed down from generation to generation or honed to perfection during years of dinner parties, receives the ultimate accolade: “This is great, you should sell it.” Inspired by the likes of Levi Roots whose home-made spicy Caribbean sauce went on to become a supermarket phenomenon in less than a decade, hundreds of would-be kings and queens of catering are drawing up plans to take their culinary creations to market.


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Ideally, scaling-up production coincides with a move to a larger premises with full commercial facilities but for those with fewer funds at their disposal or the inability to raise capital from elsewhere, the short-term solution is to run the business from home. According to a recent study the number of home-based businesses is on the rise but first-time entrepreneurs run around 69 percent of such businesses.

False economy

The lack of commercial experience and the lack of available expert advice means home-based catering concerns often fail to realise the importance of investing in the right tools and equipment from online catering suppliers like and come unstuck at an early stage. Local authority and government regulations do allow commercial food production in domestic kitchens, so long as rules and regulations are strictly followed, but more often than not, the equipment itself will simply not be up to the task.

For example, food safety is strongly dependent on proper refrigeration and although commercial and domestic freezers look more or less the same at a glance, the differences between the two are significant. While you might be tempted to try and save money by simply purchasing a large domestic unit as your business expands, this is a false economy. Space is often a concern but with a huge range of designs and specifications available from suppliers such as Fridge Freezer Direct Ltd, it’s easy to find something suitable, regardless of your available space.

Greater demands

This is important because domestic freezer units utilise low-powered compressors and are only designed to deal with minimal levels of heat loss. In a typical domestic kitchen, the door to the freezer is opened only relatively infrequently. In a busy commercial environment, far greater demands are made on the equipment. Ambient temperatures tend to be considerably higher and the door of a fridge is opened and closed far more regularly. In order to deal with this, commercial refrigeration units have more powerful compressors that are able to cool the contents far more rapidly. Attempting to use a domestic freezer in a commercial environment is likely to see the unit burning out in a relatively short time. Commercial freezers also tend to have better insulation and are easier to clean.

While local authority regulations do allow commercial production in domestic kitchens, so long as rules and regulations are strictly followed. Although some domestic kitchens can cope with a considerable degree of food production, it is simply far easier to comply with government food safety within the confines of a full commercial kitchen, or at the very least a kitchen fitted with proper commercial equipment.

In Reviews

The Importance of Keeping Young Sports Players Motivated


Many children love to play games or sports, as it’s a chance to let off steam and enjoy some fresh air. They can also have fun with their classmates, either because they are on the same side or as rivals.

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Sports are also a great way of creating a more level educational playing field. Children who do not shine at maths, languages or sciences may prove themselves worthy opponents on the rugby or football pitch, for example. It’s also good for improving communication skills as well as your mental and physical well-being.

Encourage Children to Join a Sports Club

An NHS article about top ten activity tips for children includes parents supporting their children in sports. It recommends joining a weekend sports club, as then they would get regular exercise and would show commitment.

As playing sport is so important for children, their teacher or coach needs to be a great motivator so they build up an interest in sport.

Research by YouGov for Sport England showed that children who are interested in sport will influence them to carry on in later life. It says: “The type of sport played at school is less important – a passion for sport in general is what counts.”

Sports Lessons Need to Be Fun

So it’s important for their sports teacher or coach to help children learn to love playing sports. Children are easily bored or distracted, so the lessons need to be fun. It’s important that they learn new skills or techniques during the game, so they are constantly pushing themselves.

Teachers need to introduce something new in each lesson – either a training method or drill. They can pick up new ideas by watching sports on television to see if there are any new moves or tactics being used on the pitch or track. They can also pick up training tips and plan training sessions by using expert coaching plans from a company such as

For example, coaches or teachers can use cones to teach defensive moves during rugby drills. The team can run backwards and forwards to the cones while staying in a strong straight line.

Bringing new elements into the drill, such as press-ups or star jumps, will stop it getting repetitive and keep children interested.

In Reviews

A Stylish Wedding on a Budget


Weddings can be expensive but if you don’t have a lot of money to spare, you can still have a stylish day on a budget.


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Choose flowers which will be in season on your big day. This means the florist won’t have to source blooms from overseas at extra cost.


If you are keen to have wedding favours, consider making them yourself. There are lots of craft websites where you can find inspiration but some good ideas include personalised cookies and other sweet treats. Some favours can also be used as table place name settings – saving even more money.


Why not save money on catering by inviting your guests to contribute their own favourite homemade desserts and cakes? The Great British Bake Off has made cooking and baking fashionable once again. You could even have a prize for the most impressive.

Wedding Dress

Having a beautiful dress does not mean having to spend a fortune. With plenty of forward planning and by taking the time to look around it is possible to pick up some amazing bargains. For example, at the end of the season many gowns will be significantly reduced in price, enabling you to pick up a bargain ready for the following year. Many stockists have sample sales, so check their websites regularly.

Summer weekends are popular for weddings and as such, tend to be the most expensive. By choosing a midweek or winter wedding, you could potentially save a third on venue costs. A midweek wedding means you will find it easier to book other premium services such as, a highly popular wedding photographer in Hampshire.

Car Hire
If you know friends who already own a luxury car, why not ask them if you can borrow it for your big day?

Hair and Make-up

If you have friends or family with a flair for hair and make-up, you could ask them to create your wedding look.

With plenty of practice and a visit or two to a big name beauty counter for some advice and tips, a professional look can be easily achieved.

Alternatively, look out for newly qualified hair and make-up artists who are looking to build up their portfolios. Very often they will charge a much-reduced fee.

In Wedding

Female focused ‘robot’ investment platform raises $9 million


The world of investment has traditionally been regarded predominantly as a male domain, with females occupying just over 20 per cent of European Stock Index company boards. However, this could be set to change thanks to the innovation of a female entrepreneur who has developed an investment platform specifically aimed toward female users.


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Ellevest is the organisation behind the new platform, and it’s founded and managed by Sallie Krawcheck, who previously held a position with Citigroup as their Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, she gained her stripes through her role as president of the Global Wealth and Management division of BofA. Now pioneering innovation through Ellevest, the firm has already accrued assets under management of $136,185 through 40 accounts.

Ellevest’s product is an automated investment platform that has generated $9m from investors. According to a Finextra report, the platform has attracted investment from tennis star Venus Williams and Aspect Ventures, among others. The appeal of the platform is its niche target market: women. According to Catalyst, the industry appetite for female financial experts is growing.

How the Ellevest platform works

The platform uses an algorithm to create portfolios of investments consisting of exchange traded funds (known as ETFs), which can be modified according to the individual investor’s unique preferences. For example, if the investor has a target to purchase their own home or shape their retirement plans, the platform can be configured to assist in working toward those goals.

Why is Ellevest IFA software tailored for women investors?

Women have a number of differentiators that make their investment proposition different from men. For example, females have longer lifespans, and their salary arc differs as a result of the proverbial “glass ceiling” or potential motherhood. As a result, Ellevest factors in these differentiators, resulting in a unique investment platform that is tailored to the female customer.

Traditional IFA platforms have not differentiated between genders. Ellevest is a little different in that whether the ultimate goal is to accrue additional funds, commence a new business initiative or simply ensure that future prospects are sustainable, Ellevest can be modified to consider these aspirations and create tailored investment solutions.

The market for robo-advisors has seen an upsurge in applications. As a result, having a differentiator could make a difference in succeeding against competitors.

In Reviews