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Dog friendly holidays

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With today's economic climate and general doom and gloom, taking a holiday here in the UK suddenly seems more appealing. The Pound has steadily fallen against both the euro and the dollar, meaning taking a break in this country makes perfect sense.

People often forget that there are plenty of exciting and lovely places to visit in this country. Furthermore travelling in the UK makes it really easy to take your dog with you. The majority of dogs love to travel and to experience new places. An important thing to bear in mind is that some dogs who have never travelled in a car before can suffer from travel sickness. It is a good idea to take a few short journeys with your dog before you go on holiday, just so they get used to travelling in a car. There are a few simple things that you can do to make the trip as trouble free and pleasurable as possible.

There are many good dog carriers and Dog Car Crates on the market these days. These enable you to keep your dog secure whilst travelling. These can also come in useful for trips to the vets etc. It is a good idea to provide your dog with access to water whilst travelling. You may have seen the Road refresher non spill water bowl product on Dragon's Den. This product helps to avoid water spills whilst travelling in a car. Another thing to remember when travelling is that a dog will as a rule prefer having a regular routine. This means it is a good idea to bring your dog's favourite items with you. If your dog has a beloved toy or blanket, it's a good idea to bring this along.

It is essential that you remember when going on holiday with your dog, to bring the right amount of pet food that your dog will need. Continuing to feed your dog his regular Dog Food is a must whilst on holiday. If a dog suddenly changes diet this can cause stomach problems, which is definitely not what you want when you're trying to relax and enjoy yourself. It may also be a good idea to bring a few treats with you too, which can be given to your dog whilst travelling to ease some of the boredom. It is important to take regular stops during the journey, ideally every hour of two. Dogs just like humans need to stretch their legs and use the toilet. One final thing is to make sure your dog has clear identification usually in the form of an id tag. This should have your Name, Address and telephone number on in. This means that if your dog should become separated from you, then you are easily contactable. (The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner on it. You can actually be fined up to £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag whilst in public).

Traveling with your dog can be a pleasurable and exciting experience. Dogs love discovering new places and spending time with you. Let's just hope we get some good weather this summer.

Taking your dog on holiday aborad with the family

If you are travelling with your family around the European Union, you can now take your dog with you. Provided they are up to date with all of their vaccinations, your dog will be able to travel around with you and enjoy some summer sunshine with the family. However, you might be wondering how on earth you are going to get your dog from A to B without any mess in your car. The most convenient and practical way to transport your dog on holiday would be to purchase a dog carrier. Dog carriers are typically made from metal or plastic and come in a range of sizes to accommodate almost any size of dog. You will no longer have to worry about getting dog hair all over the back seat of your car. Most dog carriers fit easily into the boot of your car and there is enough room for them to move around and feel comfortable whilst you are on your journey. Your dog will need to have plenty of water for the journey so that they don't get dehydrated on the trip. You will need to stop at regular intervals during the journey to let your dog go to the toilet and stretch their legs.

Taking Your Dog On Holiday: Ten Top Tips

After a year of scrimping, saving and cutting back on the purse strings there’s no better feeling than pulling out of the driveway and heading off for a week of two of sunshine. Whether you choose to remain within the glorious borders of the United Kingdom or head off towards warmer climates, there’s one particular member of the family who often gets left behind; whether they are left with family members or neighbours, there is no denying that the pets of the United Kingdom often go without.

Soaking up the sun on holiday, there isn’t usually much we miss. But for many, there is one thing lacking: our pet. Luckily, in the past few years, it has become commonplace for pet owners to travel with their companions, even the canine variety. However, travelling with a furry pal takes a little more consideration, so here are our ten top tips for taking your dog on holiday.

  1. Plan ahead
  2. The number one rule of taking your dog on holiday is to plan ahead. Playing it by ear may be fine when you’re travelling solo, but a dog requires more thought, so remember to consider every aspect of your trip, from how you’ll get around to what time you will be able to feed your furry friend.

  3. Get comprehensive travel insurance
  4. Travel insurance is always a good idea for a holiday, but it is absolutely essential when you’re taking your dog along. Dogs can be unpredictable, and so you don’t want to get caught out if they make a mess in your accommodation or get unwell. Make sure your insurance covers every eventuality, and then relax!

  5. Choose your destination wisely
  6. Some kinds of holidays are more suitable for dogs than others. So, choose your destination wisely – preferably a location with some nice natural outdoor space for your pup to explore. A cramped old city full of busy narrow streets might not be best for a boisterous dog.

  7. Find the right accommodation
  8. On a similar topic, make sure you find the right accommodation. Think about how much space you will need and how tidy your dog is. If you have a small lapdog, a holiday cottage may be perfect, but for a large, energetic dog, camping could be a better option. If you’re not sure, call the owners and see what they think!

  9. Get a doggy passport
  10. It may seem glaringly obvious, but if you’re travelling abroad with your dog, they will need a passport! Some people still forget this until the last minute and struggle to get their pet’s identification sorted. So,go online and check the rules, buy a passport and remember to take it with you!

  11. Check country-specific requirements
  12. You will need to find out the other requirements for taking your dog abroad. This will vary with each destination, so be sure to check the appropriate government websites to find out any rules they have. Also consult your airline for their own specifications – many will request veterinary evidence of your dog’s wellbeing before they can fly.

  13. Visit the vets
  14. While you’re planning your anticipated escape, don’t forget the most important part – vaccinations! Visit the vet and ask them what vaccinations your dog will need, and any precautions you should take. Not only will this keep your beloved pup healthy, it may also be the law. For example, your dog can’t return to the UK, even with a passport, once its rabies vaccination has expired.

  15. Pack the essentials
  16. Dogs are low maintenance, they travel light, but it is always a good idea to bring a few essential items along for your pup. A food and water bowl is a must, as is a lead and a muzzle (just in case you are expected to have one for airports). Bring plenty of food, as you may not be able to get the same brand while you’re away, but also bring a few toys and treats to keep your dog occupied if you have to wait for transport – and to play with when you arrive!

    Check out our range of dog travel products and make sure you’ve got everything you need for your trip.

  17. Polish up on training
  18. It’s always a good idea to refresh your dog’s discipline with some extra training before you go away. There are bound to be lots of new stimuli ready to distract them, so it will be important that they are on top of their commands when you need to keep them behaving well.

  19. Get settled in
  20. As soon as you arrive in your destination with your dog, take the time to get settled in. Dogs can take a little longer than us to adjust to a new place, so allowing them to get comfortable in their new bed, to learn where they can go outside, and so on, is essential in making them feel safe and secure so you can all enjoy your time away.

    Thinking of going abroad?

    Taking your dog on holiday is now much easier than it was say twenty or thirty years ago; with the development of vaccines and canine medical care, the rules for taking your four-legged friend on holiday has become much more relaxed. To take your dog abroad you will need what is known as a ‘pet passport’. To gain your furball with a pet passport there are a certain few things that need to be done beforehand.

    1.Your dog will need to be microchipped before doing anything else in regards to getting your pet a passport.

    2.Once your pet has been chipped, it is now just as important to get him or her vaccinated against rabies – this is as much as a necessity as getting them chipped and a dog that has not been vaccinated will not receive a passport. Once the pet is vaccinated, it must not leave the borders of the United Kingdom for another twenty-one days.

    3.Your dog is now able to get the passport, though if you are travelling to a non-EU country you will need an official certification from the country that you are travelling to.

    4.Before re-entering the country you dog must also have received treatment for tapeworm (a treatment that must therefore be administered before you leave). This must be done by a veterinarian and no less than twenty four hours before you leave.

    5.Before you leave you must also make sure that you are travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route, meaning that whilst travelling to or from a country, your pet does not pass through any country outside of the EU.

    If you are planning to take your chap to a non listed country, you will have to arrange a blood test to make sure that the rabies vaccine has taken affect and should be done no later than thirty days after the vaccination.

    Dog-friendly Summer Holiday Destinations In Europe

    Dog-owners face an ongoing dilemma when parting with their favourite pooches in the summer time, and often people are forced to unwillingly send them to kennels or dog sitters. With the rising cost of taking pets on airlines, many passengers also face concerns over whether they can afford to bring their companions on vacation, as it may outweigh the price of kennels. Those wanting to take Fido abroad must acquire a pet passport and have their animal microchipped and vaccinated prior to travel. It sounds super complicated but it’s actually pretty easy If you cannot bear the thought of parting with your beloved dogs, there are plenty of destinations in Europe that can offer the perfect paradise for both parties. We’ve compiled a list of seven dog-friendly holiday locations, from city breaks to picturesque beach destinations, all suitable for your pets in the height of summer.

    So, with this in mind, here are some fantastic dog friendly places to visit to enjoy a well-deserved break.

    Netherlands

    A country of freedom and flexibility, The Netherlands is a welcoming place when it comes to your four-legged friend. Here, it’s commonplace for people to take their dogs into cafes, restaurants and even shops. If your best friend fancies a trip on the train, they even offer tickets specifically for your dog. If your pal is of a smaller disposition, they can travel for free on your lap, so you can enjoy the experience as one.

    If you want to get back to nature, there are some fantastic dog friendly campsites. De Schatberg, located in Limburg; the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands, offers pooch perfect surroundings. With various walking trails and lakes for your pal to splash around in, the facilities and environment make it a perfect place to visit. If you’re looking to explore Amsterdam, there are various apartments who will accommodate your dog. The Radisson Blu Hotel, situated in the heart of the city understand that your dog is part of your family. Likewise, The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam - right next to Amsterdam - will welcome your pal, no matter what their size.

    A safe-haven for pooches throughout the summer months, Amsterdam is a provider of all things dog friendly. With numerous city parks, the Dutch metropolitan is filled with dogs of all shapes and sizes, as the animals are allowed into a majority of its sights with the exceptions of museums and galleries. Amsterdam further hosts an abundance of hotels willing to accommodate for canines. The NH hotel brand, which owns various properties across the city, are one of the most pet-friendly franchises. The Neighbour’s Magnolia Hotel, another popular destination for animal lovers, also lets your pets bond with their in-house dog – Bleecker. A top tip for holiday-goers interested in visiting the Dutch capital is to look out for the Drover’s Dog restaurant. An Australian Gourmet Café, located close to the Eastern Docklands, it offers excellent hospitality for dog-owners.

    France

    France has built a reputation for its love of dogs, and the animals are more than welcomed almost everywhere. The country offers inner-city dog friendly boutiques, expansive holiday villas and sea side retreats. Animals are commonly invited into dining areas with guests, and shopping districts in Paris and Monaco can become littered with hand bagged pooches escorted by their fashion-conscious owners. Rural French regions such as Brittany further boast significant appeal for dog-lovers, with a vast number of sea-side cottages available to rent each summer. Most cottages are animal-friendly, catering for larger groups hoping to bring them along. Travelling to and from France can also prove cheaper for holiday-goers, who may choose to use the Euro Tunnel to travel across the pond. Using the system, dogs can be transported for just a small fee of £18.

    Bruges, Belgium

    When travelling to the medieval Flemish region of Bruges, dog-owners can expect to see an abundance of riverside walkways, idyllic parks and ambient cafes. With nearly twenty hotels in the enchanted city centre accommodating for canines, including hotels, bed & breakfasts and property rentals, you will have no problems finding your perfect stay. The Dog House hotel, situated east of the city centre, offers the perfect getaway for those looking for relaxation with their doggy companions. The Bed and Breakfast dates back to the 1750s, and features a private courtyard for exercising your pooch. Dogs are primarily free to roam at Bruges’ tourist sites, including the world-famous market squares, and most cafes will welcome them providing the dining area is not overcrowded and they are kept on a leash.

    Switzerland

    The home of the Bernese mountain dog, Switzerland holds a long-standing love affair with man’s best friend. Major Swiss cities Geneva and Zurich both lay home to hotels that allow pets for no additional charge, whilst more rural areas of the breath-taking landscape offer similar services as well as proving ideal for hillside hikes for your furry friends. As if the scenery in Switzerland wasn’t idyllic enough, adventurers and their dogs can take the Glacier Express across the Oberalp Pass. The three-day train journey crosses 291 bridges and travels through 91 tunnels, with passengers encouraged to make several stops along the way.

    Berlin, Germany

    Germany’s art and culture hub, Berlin, is home to perhaps the biggest canine loving community in Europe. You’ll find pooches of all shapes and sizes across the capital’s sophisticated transport system, where they are more than welcomed. Dogs are also allowed to experience trips along the city’s rivers with their owners, with the Stern und Kreisschiffahrt boats a popular option with travellers. Apartment blocks within the central district of Mitte further comfort pets with their own beds and water bowls, ensuring that they feel right at home whilst on their adventures. For those who share a love for dogs and great food, be sure to visit the Five Elephant café in the city’s Kreuzberg district. Famous for its cheesecake, the dog-friendly space reflects Berlin’s acceptance of all.

    Italy

    Whether you prefer the Riviera, a city-break in an urban metropolitan or vineyard painted landscapes, Italy has huge appeal for dog-owners seeking a summer getaway. Northern Italy and the South Tyrolean Alps are popular destinations to travel with pets, due to its picturesque landscape for hiking and trekking. Hotels across towns such as Merano allow dogs to stay, with small fees to cover the cost of our companions. For city-goers, Rome has built a particular reputation for its love of dogs. With discounts for pets using public transport, as well as access to its most touristy architectural spots, your pooch will be able to share the Italian experience.

    Bergen, Norway

    If you are looking for an alternative summer holiday this year, then look no further than Norway and its fjords as your perfect destination for any dog-owner. Bergen, a quant Norwegian town in the country’s southwest region, poses as the birthplace of several fjord cruises that welcome canines. The tours offer travellers the chance to relax amongst beautiful landscapes and Viking history. Norway’s capital, Oslo, is also a safe-haven for animals with many hotels openly supporting and accommodating both humans and dogs. Perhaps not the most tropical city of choice in Europe, yet could benefit your pooches’ health and wellbeing.

    Spain

    Is your pooch craving a bit of sunshine? Look no further than sunny Spain. Thanks to the straightforward pet passport process, taking your dog abroad with you is as easy as packing the suncream. Spain is becoming increasingly more welcoming to dogs, with many hotels offering an abode to suit both you and your pal. Whilst not every beach invite dog with open arms, there are sandy nooks that welcome those eager four paws, such as Playa de la Platjola in Catalonia and the glorious beaches of Barbate in Cadiz.

    If you’re setting your sights on Southern Spain, book your stay at the La Almunia del Valle, set amongst the beautiful Sierra Nevada National Park. This charming boutique hotel allows 2 dogs per room and offers the opportunity for your dog to get a little closer to nature. Set in Mallorca’s Tramuntana Mountains, check out the Hotel Sa Vall in Valldemossa. This dog friendly residence is a little slice of human and canine heaven. With idyllic surroundings perfect for your pal’s adventurous tastes, dog catering, and even a nearby vet, you and your chum will waste no time getting acquainted with the local sights.

    Canada

    Perhaps not the most accommodating in terms of making Fido your dinner date, this beautiful country tops the list when it comes to dog services on offer. From specialist dog grooming to dog hotels and even doggy boutiques (that’s right), Canadian cities know how to spoil your special family member. If you fancy rewarding your pal with a special treat, be sure to check out one of the many dog bakeries dotted around. The Dog Market based in Toronto is perfect for a post walkies tidbit. Or maybe it just so happens to be your pals birthday whilst you’re away? If so, Pawsalicious in Richmond, Ontario can provide your pooch with his very own birthday cake and even a Pawty Package for the whole family to enjoy.

    If Vancouver is on your list of places to visit, make sure you book a night’s stay in The Fairmont Hotel. Welcoming dogs of all types, each room comes with a welcome mat, food dish, welcome treat and information on the local pet activities. This pawsome hotel even comes with its very own Canine Concierge; Mavis and Beau. Talk about the woof of approval!

    A Complete Guide To Travel Products For Dogs

    If youown a dog then you will need to transport them at some point. Whether it’s a trip to the vets, a day care centre or visiting friends, you will need to make sure you have everything your dog needs to travel safely. More and more people are taking their pets with them on holiday. Canine travel products are therefore becoming more important and a necessity for dog owners. If you can take your dog with you on weekend breaks and trips abroad then there’s no point in leaving them at home. However, there are lots of things to consider when taking your dog on a long trip. This complete guide to travel products for dogs will help you decide exactly what you need to bring with you when travelling with your best friend.

    Restraining/crating your dog in the car

    Dogs should be kept properly restrained and out of the way while you are driving. It’s unsafe to have a dog loose in the car, because they can distract you and get in the way, but it’s also extremely dangerous for you and them if you have to make an emergency stop. Many dog owners don’t realise they could be breaking the law when their dog is not properly restrained whilst in the car.

    According to the Highway Code dogs ‘should be suitably restrained in a vehicle so that they don’t distract the driver or injure them if the vehicle stops quickly.’ Your dog might be very well behaved and sit nicely in the car, but you can’t predict what might happen to them or what they might do in the event of an accident.

    One way of restraining your dog is by using a car harness which attached to the seat belt. You can also get special seat belts especially for dogs. Another option is to put your dog in a travel crate which goes inside your car. This will stop them from moving around too much and distracting you while you are driving. Dog Car Crates come in many different shapes and sizes to suit different dogs. You can also get mesh dog guards which you can use if you want to confine your dog to the boot of your car.

    Hydration

    Don’t forget to bring enough water for your dog during car journeys. They should always have access to fresh water, especially on longer journeys or on particularly hot days. You can get pet travel water bottles and bowls that can help to keep your dog hydrated whilst travelling in the car. If you are staying in a hotel or at a friend's house remember to bring a water bowl for your dog.

    Getting your dog used to car travel

    If your dog is not used to travelling in the car you may have to spend some time getting them used to it. Start by simply encouraging them to get into the car with treats and gradually build up to taking them on short journeys. Make sure they have a blanket or some toys from home to make them feel more comfortable. If your dog gets really anxious or stressed during car journeys you could try using some canine calming products. If they suffer from car sickness you can get travel sickness tablets from your vet.

    Protecting your car

    All dog owners know how quickly their car gets dirty. When you own a dog it’s difficult to keep everything clean as they just seem to spread dirt and dog hair everywhere. However, you can try and protect your car to minimise the mess that your dog makes. There are some helpful products to keep your car clean and prevent your dog from damaging the seats. A boot mat can help protect the inside of your boot from muddy paws. If you put your dog in the back of your car then you might want to invest in an Ancol Car Seat Protector, which will prevent them from scratching and chewing the seats as well as keeping them clean. A car seat carpet is also another option. If your dog goes in the boot then they will need to either jump in or have assistance getting in. Most dogs will scratch the paintwork of your car with their claws as they jump inside. Some dogs with limited mobility will also struggle to get in the car, so a dog car ramp is really useful.

    Driving safely

    When your dog is travelling in the car with you remember to drive more conservatively. Take their comfort into consideration when you are driving. Don’t make very sharp turns or drive erratically as this could injure them or make them car sick. Check that your dog has their collar on and is microchipped before taking them in the car in case they escape or there is an accident and they get startled and run off. Although you see a lot of car adverts and YouTube videos of dogs hanging out of car windows, it’s really not safe. Don’t let your dog hang out the window as it’s dangerous. Just make sure your car is well ventilated.

    Feeding your dog

    Do not feed your dog just before or just after a car journey as this could make them sick. Instead, take Dog Food with you and give them an hour or so after a car journey to recover before you feed them.

    6 UK Beach Breaks Your Canine Chum Will Love

    As much as you need a holiday, your dogs will benefit from one too. There’s nothing better for your pooch than to experience new environments, spend time with their owner and socialise with other canines. A British beach break is the perfect remedy for all concerned. It’s a chance for you to soak up the sea air and catch some rays while allowing your dog to roam freely. Fortunately, there are a great number of dog-friendly British beaches. Although some implement restrictions on when dogs are allowed on the beach, these six beach destinations make for the perfect summer getaway for you and your four-legged friend:

    1. Holkham Bay, Norfolk

    The North Norfolk coastline is one of the most picturesque in the country. With expansive views out to the North Sea, perfect sandy beaches and incredible habitats for nature, it’s truly an unspoilt haven.

    Holkham Bay is a favourite holiday haunt for dog owners as its beach allows canines to explore with you at all times. The vast, open landscapes are perfect for lengthy walks with your dog. What’s great about Holkham Bay is that it’s dog-friendly all year round, with no restrictions even in the peak holiday season. Nevertheless, you’re still required to keep your pooch under close supervision and clean up after your dog using the plentiful waste bins provided.

    Holkham Bay is also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves and is home to several rare species of flora and fauna: a real feast for the senses!

    There’s a wealth of quaint places to explore nearby Holkham, with Wells-next-the-Sea and Blakeney also extremely popular with beach lovers.

    2. Southwold, Suffolk

    Head due south-east from Holkham and you’ll discover Southwold on the east Suffolk coastline. Another quintessentially British holiday resort overlooking the North Sea, Southwold is also an exceptionally dog-friendly destination too. In fact, just 1.6 miles of more than 26 miles of coastline between Lowestoft and Walberswick is dog-restricted!

    In Southwold, only the area to the north of the pier to the East Street steps has seasonal restrictions, giving your doggy the freedom to roam to the south of the pier and towards the town’s sand dunes. If you’re adventurous and you want to explore on foot, head south over the River Blyth to Walberswick, an area famed for its crabbing – you can even give it a try yourself!

    Many of the public houses, restaurants and cafes in Southwold are dog-friendly. The Harbour Inn is a particular favourite with locals and tourists alike, with a large rear garden to sit and enjoy the scenery from.

    3. Westward Ho!, Devon

    The North Devon holiday resort of Westward Ho! is another popular location for dog owners. Its two-mile sandy beach is accessible to dogs between 1 October and 30 April. However, during the summer months, certain restrictions are in place here in the centre of the beach. Dogs are allowed in a 200-metre area to the north end of the beach, as well as the sandsports zone. The picturesque promenade at Westward Ho! is also dog-friendly, providing you walk with them on a lead.

    The sea itself is great fun for your pooch to play around in as it’s rather shallow. The town also provides freshwater taps at the top of the beach to keep your canines hydrated at the end of a long walk. Although parts of the beach are off-limits to dogs in the summer, there is also a vast area of grassland that they can explore. ‘The Burrows’ is a great socialising point for your dogs, as well as you with other owners.

    4. Sandymouth, Cornwall

    The unspoilt, sand-backed beaches of North Cornwall’s Sandymouth are truly breath-taking. When the tide is out here there is acres of beach for you dog to roam around. Some of the coastal walks along clifftops also offer some of the finest views in the UK out into the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

    As a National Trust beach, Sandymouth is incredibly well-kept and boasts ample amenities. There’s a charming café, clean toilets and plentiful car parking nearby. Something to bear in mind is that Sandymouth beach is only accessible in low-to-mid tide, so don’t venture too far away from the beach’s entrance without knowing how much time you have to explore.

    Sandymouth is perfect for young families looking to have fun at the beach. It’s a surfer’s paradise here, with waves of up to three metres at peak times, but that’s recommended only for seasoned surfers to tackle!

    5. Lepe Country Park, Hampshire

    Lepe Beach is a stunning sand and shingle beach near Southampton. With magnificent views out towards the Isle of Wight, it’s considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Lepe Beach and Country Park is on the fringes of the magnificent New Forest, which is a popular location for lodge and log cabin holidays throughout the year.

    If you’re looking for a suitable place for your dog to experience the sea for the first time, Lepe Beach is a great starting point.

    There are some areas where you are required to keep your dog on the lead. However, the vast open grass and wooded areas and the long shingle beach more than make up for that. The parts of the beach where dogs are not allowed are clearly marked, so just pay attention to all of the signs along the beach and you’ll be fine.

    Situated just to the north-east of Torquay, Babbacombe is a tranquil oasis away from the bright lights of Torbay’s summer season. Surrounded by stunning wooded headland, Babbacombe’s small crescent-shaped sand and shingle beach is an intimate place to relax with your family and pooch.

    The area is split into two beaches: Babbacombe Beach and Oddicombe Beach. Dogs are allowed all year round at Babbacombe Beach but are banned between 1st May and 30th September at Oddicombe Beach.

    There are lots of quaint features to explore in and around Babbacombe, with its spectacular cliff railway and model village a great way to wile away an hour or two. What are you waiting for? Get planning your next seaside holiday for you and your dog; you won’t regret it!

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