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Category: Pet care

Owning a pet is highly rewarding and the benefits of the companionship offered by a small pet in the home should not be under estimated. However along with the fun of owning the pet comes a lot of responsibility. Before acquiring a pet it is important to think careful about the type of pet that will meet your needs and fit in with your lifestyle.

Dogs, in particular, can be quite costly to feed and there are a whole raft of routine healthcare aspects that must be addressed. Dogs should be treated regularly for fleas and worms – preferably with products from your veterinary surgery. Although it is now possible to buy similar products elsewhere, the products from your vet will be specially formulated for pets and your vet can provide the best advice for your individual animal. In addition dogs and cats need vaccinations on a regular basis (at least once a year) to protect them against some of the serious diseases they can be exposed to outside of the home.

It would be rare for even the best cared for pet to go through the whole of its life without any health problems. To protect against unforeseen bills it might be worth considering health care insurance for your pet.

Worm control

All pets will be affected by worms at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Getting rid of worms is relatively simple and inexpensive so regular treatment is strongly recommended, particularly

Vaccinating your dog

There are a number of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your dog. There is no treatment for many of these diseases and young puppies who catch them often die. However, for many of these conditions there

Vaccination protocols and safety

For a long time all new puppies and kittens were given a standard vaccination that protected them from a number of infectious diseases. Recently a number of new vaccines have been developed and pet owners and vets have begun to question the

Training your dog

A dog owner is responsible for their pet in public places, so if your dog misbehaves you can be responsible for the consequences. A poorly trained dog can also be a danger to himself. Imagine the consequences if your dog

Scanning – the inside picture

The term 'scan' is often used to describe the method of obtaining an image of the inside of the body. This may be done with ultrasound (details of which can be found in another factsheet), which is often available in

Saying goodbye – options for euthanasia

The life expectancy of a pet is much longer than that of a wild animal. Breed also has a significant influence on lifespan. At some stage it may become obvious that your pet's life is drawing to a close. It

Samples – how they help your vet

Laboratory tests are used by vets to help them diagnose disease in animals that are ill. Increasingly, they are also used as part of a routine health check to detect hidden disease before the development of obvious symptoms. This allows

Puppy care

All puppies are cute and it is very tempting to acquire one almost by accident. Taking on a puppy is a big responsibility - remember it will not stay a puppy for long. Within a year you will have an

Routine health care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your pet happy in order to maintain its health. Most owners know their pet

Permanent identification of your dog

Stray dogs and cats are a big problem in many countries. In the UK alone it is estimated that more than £250 million a year is spent by local authorities, police forces and animal welfare charities rounding up and looking

Obesity

In the wild dogs generally regulate the amount of food they eat. However, there is a trend for modern dogs, like modern man, to eat better food and take less exercise than their predecessors. Just as in people, there is

Neutering

It is a sad truth that the number of puppies born every year is far greater than the number of good homes that can be found for them. As a result, thousands of healthy animals are destroyed and many unwanted

Leaving your pet behind

Although the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is now fully operational, allowing limited movement of pets through some countries and the UK, many pet owners still prefer to leave their pets behind when they go away. Will my dog be happy being left

Insect stings

On a warm summer afternoon when your dog is playing in the garden they are at risk from inadvertently disturbing the local wildlife. Wasps and bees are the most common cause of insect stings in UK pets. However ants may

Injecting your dog

Administration of medicine by injection is often referred to as giving drugs by the parenteral route. The other main means of administering treatment is via the mouth and digestive system - the oral route. Effective administration of medicine is a

House training your puppy

House training is the term we normally use for the process of training a puppy, to go outside to urinate or defaecate (toilet) rather than toileting in the home. Once puppies have been house trained they should remain clean in

Health insurance for your dog

In recent years huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine. Vets can now do things to improve the health and welfare of dogs that would have been unimaginable or impractical only a few years ago. Not surprisingly, these advanced surgical and medical

Grooming your dog

Grooming your dog accomplishes much more than just making your pet's coat look nice and shiny. It will provide you with the opportunity to spend some "quality time" with your dog, combing, brushing, bathing and generally bonding with him. Why

Giving your dog medicines

For most veterinary treatments it is important that medicines are given correctly. In the hospital, trained staff give medicines and it is important to ensure that you are able to continue to give the medicines once your dog has been sent

Flea control

Fleas are the most common parasite in household pets and every cat and dog is likely to be infected at some stage in its life. However, with the advent of modern products it is possible to prevent fleas from becoming a problem in

Feeding your puppy

The adage 'You are what you eat' applies to dogs as well as people - however more is not necessarily better. Puppies and young dogs suffer from a variety of bone and joint disorders. Especially important are those diseases caused by the incorrect

Feeding your dog

Although most pet dogs are now fed entirely on tinned or packaged food, their nutritional requirements are exactly the same as their ancestors' centuries ago. So to stay healthy, a domestic dog must receive a balanced diet containing all the nutrients that would

Exercise – for a healthy, happy dog

All animals need exercise to be happy and healthy. Exercise improves general fitness levels and helps to prevent obesity. If your dog isn't able to work off his energy by exercising outside, he may do inside! Taking regular exercise together

Complementary therapies

Some forms of alternative or complementary medicine such as osteopathy and physiotherapy are widely used in veterinary medicine alongside conventional treatment. However, owners of dogs and cats as well as other smaller animals, are increasingly looking at other alternative therapies

Caring for your pet before and after surgery

Most pets will have an operation at some stage in their life, eg for neutering (spaying or castration) or to treat a disease. Nowadays most operations in dogs and cats are fairly safe but the success of treatment and recovery depends to some extent on

Caring for the older dog

A puppy is endearing to everyone but puppies grow up all too fast. By one to two years of age dogs of all breeds will be mature. Although individual dogs and some breeds age at different rates, most 10 year

Basic training for dogs

A dog owner is responsible for their pet in public places, so if your dog misbehaves you can be responsible for the consequences. A poorly trained dog can also be a danger to himself. Imagine the consequences if your dog

Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections

MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a nasty bacterial infection that has been widely reported in the media. It has been in the news for the sometimes fatal infection of people and has been dubbed 'the superbug' and 'flesh eating bacteria'.

Anal sac disease

Anal sac problems are very common in pet dogs and are frequently seen by veterinary surgeons. In most cases, the conditions are easily treated, though they can sometimes recur. This factsheet provides information on the location and function of anal

All about worms

It can be alarming to discover that your dog has worms but it should not come as a surprise. All pets are affected at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming