0208 943 2303   info@alpha-vets.co.uk
24h Emergency Service 0208 783 2850
 

DOGS

How to care for your dog

We wouldn’t be proper veterinary surgery if we didn’t offer our services to dogs! A firm family favourite, we provide a variety of services to help keep your dog healthy. A dog veterinarian from our experienced team will be on hand to consult, diagnose and treat your dog. Our dog surgery offers health checks for dogs and puppies, as well information on behaviour, preventative care and nutrition. We also offer a dog emergency vet service, in cases of urgency, so your dog is covered 24/7.

Consultations

We have different fee schedules and booking availabilities depending on your pet and its situation.

Please call our regular telephone number: 0208 943 2303 during office hours and speak to one of our receptionists who will help book you for the correct consultation appointment.

Please remember to inform our receptionists how many pets you will be bringing. Each pet will need to be scheduled individually for a consultation to allow the vet time to properly examine each pet and discuss its problems.
Here is a guideline to the different types of consultations we normally provide:

  • Regular Consultation. This is our standard 15 minute consultation with the vet for an animal with a new health problem, a problem that has recurred from some time ago, or a recheck of an ongoing problem.
  • Second Opinion Consultation. If your pet has been to see another vet for this problem (within the last year) and you would like our opinion on the problem, then we need to read the previous medical record, blood results and x-rays etc. We can then learn what medicines have been used and what the original vet found on examination. We need to do this in order to properly understand your pets condition and provide you a good second opinion. As this takes time to arrange the consultation must generally be booked at least one day in advance. As this is a more complex and time consuming procedure, we therefore normally schedule for you to spend 30 minutes with the veterinary surgeon and we charge a higher fee.
  • Walk in Consultation. If you come in without an appointment booked we will try our best to fit you in but you may have to wait for an hour or even longer if the vets are busy. Of course if your pet’s life is in danger we will assess their condition and may admit them into the hospital while we make a vet available. The Walk in Consultation is generally scheduled for 15 minutes with the veterinary surgeon but is charged at a higher fee than the Regular Consultation.
  • We strongly advise our clients to try and make an appointment as we are often fully booked or very busy. We do not want your pet to become stressed if they have to wait a long time.
  • Referral Consultation. This is when another vet has asked you to come and consult with us as they feel we have more expertise with dogs or with your dog’s specific problem. In these cases the other veterinarian will directly fax us a ‘Referral Letter’ and your dog’s medical records. Afterwards we will also inform your original vet of the outcome of the case. This also requires the extended 30 minute consultation.

Once you have made the appointment please make sure that you, or whoever is bringing in the pet, has all the information as follows:

  1. How long your pet has been sick for and what symptoms is it showing.
  2. What food your pet is fed on, including any snacks and supplements.
  3. Any medicines that may have been given to your pet (please bring in the packets or containers).
  4. What is the origin of your pet and what animals has it been in contact with.
  5. What the urine & faeces (poop) are both normally and presently like.
  6. That the owner or a decision maker will be available on the telephone if they cannot come in.

Please note that to sign a consent form (for example for an operation or if you pet needs to be admitted into hospital) legally it must be someone over the age of 18 years old to sign.

We require payment for the services provided immediately after a consultation. To try and make it more convenient for you we accept payments in cash, cheque or debit and credit cards. If you have concerns about the affordability of treatment for your pet, or whether your insurance will cover the costs, please discuss this with us at the time of consultation before the treatment is carried out: we can often tailor treatment and payment to suit your resources.

We have our HEALTHY PET CLUB which is a great way of ensuing the best preventative healthcare for your dog, giving you great savings on essential annual vaccinations, life-saving parasite prevention and many other benefits and discounts!

And don’t forget to collect your Alpha Card – our free loyalty card which gives you 1% back on everything you spend with us! You collect points on your card which you can redeem against any of our services or products! The card is free to all clients, and we even give you 500 points (=£5) to get you started! Ask at reception when you come in.

Vaccinations

Vaccination protects your dog against various diseases, some of which can be fatal. We recommend two types of vaccination for your dog: a combination vaccine and the rabies vaccine.

Puppies usually receive a ‘primary course’ of vaccinations which consists of 2-3 vaccinations, depending on the age at which the course is started. They should be vaccinated before they are allowed to mix with other animals. Ideally the puppy receives its first vaccine at 8 weeks old, then at 10 weeks and 12 weeks. A booster is given one year after the primary course, then every subsequent year thereafter.

The diseases covered by the combination vaccine are:

Distemper, a highly contagious viral disease. It can cause respiratory signs such as sneezing, coughing; gastrointestinal signs of vomiting and diarrhoea, and even seizures and death.
Parvovirus, which often causes vomiting and diarrhoea with blood and is often fatal. This highly infectious virus can remain in the environment for long periods of time, which means your dog can become infected despite never directly coming into contact with infected animals.

Infectious Hepatitis, a serious viral infection which affects the liver in dogs. It usually causes fever, abdominal pain, jaundice, and can be fatal.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease which is usually transmitted from water contaminated by urine of infected rats or mice. It can affect the kidneys or the liver and may result in organ failure, and is infectious to humans. Many vets use the ‘L2’ vaccine for leptospirosis, which only protects against two types of leptospirosis: there are now FOUR species of Leptospira in the United Kingdom, and consequently we use Nobivac L4 which gives you peace of mind, knowing that your dog has maximum protection.

Parainfluenza, a virus which can cause infectious tracheobronchitis (‘Kennel Cough’).

Bordetella bronchiseptica (a cause of infectious tracheobronchitis, another form of Kennel Cough). This is highly contagious and very common in our area. Dogs catch it often in the park from other dogs.

Vaccinations are an important part of your dog’s health care programme: there are many myths and misconceptions about the pros and cons of vaccination, and, as in all our work, we are always fully up-to-date with current thinking and ‘best practice’ in regard to vaccinations, so please do discuss vaccination with us if you have any concerns or questions.

Pet Passport.

If you may be travelling with your dog in the future then you may want to consider micro-chipping your dog while it is being neutered, and you require a microchip and a rabies vaccination for the Pet Travel Scheme (‘Pet Passport’). Once you have your ID chip and rabies vaccination, we can issue your passport: you may leave the UK straight away but cannot return for the first 21 days (three weeks) following the rabies vaccination. Once that period is elapsed, you may travel to and from European countries provided the rabies vaccination is in date (boosters are required strictly every three years) and stamped in the passport, and your dog has a worming tablet given by and signed and stamped by an official veterinary surgeon no less than 24 hours and no more than five (5) days before you return to UK customs. It’s a very simple and efficient system.

Health Checks

Puppy Health Checks.

Taking on a new puppy is an exciting and rewarding experience. There are lots of things to consider with any puppy and our aim is to help you ensure that your new puppy has the best start in life and continues to be happy and healthy into adulthood.

At your puppy’s first health check, our veterinary surgeon will perform a full physical exam – this involves looking at your puppy’s eyes, nose, ears, mouth and teeth, skin, listening to his heart and lungs, and feeling his abdomen. Our veterinary surgeon will also discuss all aspects of your puppy’s care including feeding, behaviour and training.  We will also cover preventative care such as vaccinations, neutering and parasitic control.

As you can see at these puppy health checks there is a lot of information to be covered by the veterinary surgeon at this time!

We recommend that, following your puppy’s initial vaccinations, you attend a free monthly health check with one of our highly experienced and friendly registered veterinary nurses, who will monitor your puppy’s weight, parasite control, general development and answer any questions you may have about behaviour, diet, neutering, etc.

 

Six-monthly Health Checks.

Regular health check-ups are important for the long term health and welfare of your dog.  Routine examinations allow us to take a pro-active role in preventive health care – we may spot health problems earlier allowing us to take appropriate treatment or preventive action.  We can carry out a full physical exam when your dog comes in for his annual vaccinations and mid-year check-up.  This is an ideal opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your pet’s health.  The six-monthly health check includes a free urinalysis.  Please bring in a fresh urine sample (or one that has been refrigerated) in a clean container, preferably the first sample of the morning. Part of our Healthy Pet Club is a free six-monthly check-up with one of our excellent Registered Veterinary Nurses.

It is of course possible to perform health examinations at times other than the six-monthly check-up. We often recommend more frequent check-ups for pets with chronic problems (e.g. heart disease, arthritis). If your pet is on an ongoing medication, then it will require more regular check ups to allow us to keep prescribing, normally every three months as a minimum.

Older Dog Health Checks

Dogs are usually considered old or ‘geriatric’ from 7-8 years of age, although for some breeds of dogs, this may be even earlier.  Geriatric pets need more attention than younger pets and it is important that your animal is checked regularly by us in order to detect problems early – we recommend a health check at least every 6 months for these special ‘old-timers’.

When our elderly pet starts to slow down, we often put this down to ageing changes when in fact it can be due to an underlying medical condition.  If detected early these conditions are often treatable and treatment can greatly improve an animal’s quality of life.  Some commonly seen problems in older animals include dental disease, arthritis, heart conditions, kidney failure, liver problems.

At the ‘Older Dog Health Check’ as well as performing a full physical exam, we may advise a urine test and blood tests as part of the health exam.

Even if the health check reveals nothing untoward the information we gather will help in the future when concern’s for your pet’s health are raised.  Knowing what is normal for your pet will help immensely when investigating illness.

Nutritional Advice

What should I feed my dog?

Nutrition plays an important part in maintaining your dog’s health and vitality.  As your dog grows and ages, his nutrient requirements will also change, and there are some premium diets such as Royal Canin or Hills which have been specially formulated to keep your dog healthy at each stage of his life.  We usually recommend a commercially produced, premium diet rather than a home-made diet, which needs  careful research and careful formulation in order to provide the complete balanced nutrition your dog needs.  We stock both Hills and Royal Canin pet foods.

Puppies.

Foods which aren’t balanced to meet a growing puppy’s needs may lead to health problems.  Large breed puppies (weigh > 25 kgs as an adult) have different nutritional needs compared to smaller breed puppies.

When you first bring your puppy home, it is best to carry on feeding him the food he is used to.  If you want to change over to a food that your vet recommends, do so over a 5 to 7 day period, mixing the new food into the old food gradually.  This will help prevent tummy upsets.

Remember to weigh your puppy and feed him according to feeding guides and your vet’s recommendation.   Adjust the amount you feed as the puppy grows.  It is best to feed several small meals a day.

NEVER give your puppy Calcium supplements – a good, complete puppy diet will contain all the minerals he needs, and these extra supplements can disturb the delicate balance and even lead to some joint diseases.

Adult Dogs.

When changing over from a puppy food to an adult food, make sure to introduce the new food gradually.  The amount you feed may need to be adjusted depending on your dog’s body condition – your vet will check your dog’s weight at each annual health check and advise you to make any changes if required, to maintain your dog at an ideal weight.

Senior Dogs.

When your dog is over 7 years old, he is considered to be mature or senior.   You may find that although your pet is eating less, he still puts on weight.  This could be due to his metabolism slowing down or a decrease in activity.  Other senior dogs have the opposite problem – they lose weight as they age, sometimes as a result of medical conditions.  They may find it more difficult to bend down to a food or water bowl on the floor due to obesity or arthritis, try an elevated feeding station to help maintain your pet’s comfort.  Senior dogs require a high quality, palatable diet with easy to digest protein, lower calorie levels, and a careful balance of essential nutrients.  You may wish to move your dog onto a specially formulated senior diet, depending on veterinary advice and any underlying medical conditions.

Neutering (De-Sexing) Surgeries

Neutering, or de-sexing, is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia. In female dogs, this involves the removal of the ovaries and the uterus (or the ovaries only in ‘keyhole’ techniques) and may also be called ‘spaying’, whilst in male dogs, ‘castration’ is the removal of the testicles. Neutering will prevent unwanted pregnancies and puppies, as well as helping your dog lead a healthier life by reducing the risk of developing certain diseases. Your vet will do a health check on your dog before the surgery, and may advise pre-surgery blood tests. In routine cases, your dog can usually be discharged the same evening.

WHY SHOULD I SPAY MY DOG?

Uterine infection (pyometra) – a common and serious problem of older female dogs which can be potentially life threatening. Most infections of the uterus develop 4-8 weeks after a heat and signs may include vomiting, increased water intake, a poor appetite and dullness. In some cases the uterus swells up as it fills with pus, making the abdomen look bigger, or you may see discharge from the vagina. Diagnosing and treating a uterine infection is expensive and involves a de-sexing procedure, your dog may be very sick and the surgery to save her life will be risky. So have your dog spayed when she is young and healthy!

Mammary cancer – the female hormones released by the ovaries can stimulate mammary tumour growth in genetically prone dogs. Approximately one-half of these tumours are benign and the other half malignant, but even benign tumours can cause problems as they grow. Spaying greatly reduces the chance of a female dog developing mammary cancer, especially if done prior to the first heat.
Dogs often benefit most if they are spayed when under 1 year old, and prior to the first heat. Ask your vet when the time is right for your dog.

WHY SHOULD I CASTRATE MY DOG?

There are fewer serious reasons to neuter male dogs, but castration will prevent your dog from developing testicular cancer, and reduce the risk of prostatic disease. It may help with certain types of aggressive behaviour as well as roaming. We often recommend that you should see how your male dog’s behaviour develops over the first 6-9 months of life to determine how beneficial castration may be to him.

After neutering, your dog’s metabolism will change and care with exercise and diet will ensure he or she won’t put on weight.

Preventative Care

When you bring your dog in for a health check, your vet can devise a care programme for your pet. In Hong Kong, there are 3 important parasitic diseases which you need to protect your dog from.

FLEAS AND TICKS

Fleas can cause itchiness, irritation and allergies, and transmit tapeworm to your pet. They can be difficult to control as they will live and breed in the environment. There are various ways of dealing with fleas; a combination method is usually best. This will usually involve a topical flea killer for use on your pet, and environmental treatments. Your vet will advise you on which products are safe and effective. We recommend and sell Advocate, an advanced prescription drug and the last word in flea control, as well as having effectiveness against many other parasites (Advocate actually kills most parasites, including mange mites and lice, but is not effective against ticks and tapeworm). Always read flea-killer packaging carefully – some over-the-counter dog flea products are very harmful when used on cats.

Ticks are found everywhere in our area, especially in Bushy Park: they attach to your dog’s skin and feed on their blood. They can cause localised irritation and infection, but they can also transmit blood parasites such as Lyme’s Disease. This is a potentially fatal disease if not treated. It is best to prevent ticks from attaching to your dog in the first place, you can do this by using a topical spot-on/spray product like Advantix once a month, and/or Seresto tick collars.

LUNGWORM

Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a potentially lethal parasite now endemic in our area. We have seen several tragic fatal cases over the last ten years: often there is little or no warning before the effects of haemophilia (unstoppable, spontaneous bleeding), seizures and death are seen. Dogs are infected by lungworm when they ingest slugs or snails carrying the intermediate stage of the worm: some dogs eat slugs and snails deliberately, but most are infected by inadvertently ingesting small snails and slugs when eating grass, chewing sticks, drinking from puddles or playing with garden toys. Fortunately, lungworm is easily prevented by a strict monthly application of Advocate.

INTESTINAL WORMS

Many different types of worms can infect your pet, some of which, the Ascarid worms, can also infect humans, especially children. They can cause weight loss, diarrhea, and failure to thrive. Puppies are often infected with worms from their mothers; we recommend that puppies are treated every 2 weeks from age 6-12 weeks, then monthly until they are 6 months old. Adult dogs should be dewormed with a product such as Milbemax or Drontal Plus every 3 months. Advocate kills all worms except tapeworm.

POISONING

Lots of unexpected substances are lethal to dogs, particularly chocolate (dark plain chocolate in particular); raisins and grapes; onions and garlic; alcohol; avocado; nuts (especially macadamia nuts); Xylitol sweetener; caffeine; milk; yeast dough. Plus, food items such as corn on the cob and bones (yes! bones!!!) can cause intestinal blockage or damage. Call us if you think your dog may have had exposure to any of these items.

Human medications should NEVER be used except under veterinary advice!

Dental Services

We all know the importance in regular dental care – we brush our teeth at least twice a day and if we don’t, plaque, tartar and cavities may soon result.  Our pets are no different – the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) estimate that by the time they are 3 years old, 80% of dogs will have signs of oral disease.   Symptoms may include bad breath, reddened gums, and buildups of yellow or brown tartar along the gumline.  Your dog may show changes in chewing or eating patterns and may paw his mouth.  As infection and inflammation progresses, periodontitis may result – this is irreversible and may lead to the loss of the tooth.  As oral bacteria can be released into the bloodstream, dental disease can also result in heart, kidney, liver and lung disease.  As our pets are living longer compared to their wild relatives, maintaining good dental health is very important towards them leading healthy, happy lives.

We advise regular dental checks – the annual health check or vaccination check up is the ideal time to assess for any early problems.  Your vet can advise you on how to keep your dog’s teeth clean and if a dental cleaning is required.  Plaque and tartar is removed by using an ultrasonic scaler, and the teeth are polished afterwards.  We check for any loose or damaged teeth which may need to be extracted.  The dental procedure is carried out under a full general anaesthetic, as no awake dog will let us do a thorough cleaning.  Your vet may advise pre anaesthetic blood tests, and your dog may require antibiotics prior to the dental cleaning.  Your dog may have to go home on some medications afterwards.

After a dental cleaning, home care is equally important to prevent recurrence of dental disease.  Young puppies should have their mouths handled from an early age, to get them used to the idea of toothbrushing.  Even older animals, if introduced slowly and patiently, can be taught to accept having their teeth brushed.  Never use human toothpaste as this can cause foaming and contains toxic ingredients which can upset your dog’s tummy.  If done daily, toothbrushing can prevent plaque formation, gingivitis and periodontal disease, saving your dog from pain and reducing the cost of future dental care.  Please see our online video on toothbrushing techniques.

If your dog won’t tolerate toothbrushing, there are other methods which may help to maintain a healthy mouth.

  1. Special diets are available which can help care for your dog’s teeth while he eats.  Some have been created to help reduce plaque and tartar formation.  Please ask your vet for more information about the different types of diet available and which best suits your dog’s needs.
  2. Dental treats – some chews are marketed to be a part of dental health care, but not all are created equal.  For information on which products are most effective, check out the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOCH) website.  Remember that these treats may contribute towards weight gain, and always be around to supervise your pet when giving chews.
  3. Dental gels – these can be applied directly onto the gums.

We have all the products you need to be able to perform effective home care in our Retail Shop so please come in and discuss further with our staff if necessary.

Hospitalisation

Sometimes your pet may have to stay in hospital for treatment. We understand that this can be a worrying time for owners, and try to make your dog’s stay in our hospital as comfortable and as stress-free as possible.

Our spacious dedicated Dog Ward has a variety of different sized kennels to suit your pet. We also have Isolation facilities which are separate from our other wards, used to house animals with infectious diseases which may spread to other pets or humans. As they are self contained, our staff can barrier nurse the patient to prevent transmission to others. For critically-ill patients, we have temperature controlled oxygen cages which allow the administration of oxygen without stress to the patient.

Whilst in hospital, your dog’s needs will be looked after by our dedicated hospital nursing staff, working closely with the vet in charge of your pet’s case. Clinical rounds are carried out frequently and regularly throughout the day and night, with the vet and nursing staff looking at each patient and planning its treatment for the day. You will usually be updated about your dog’s progress after morning rounds, and if required, updates may be given throughout the day. Your pet will never be left unattended at any time day or night.

Your dog may be fed a ‘prescription diet’ during hospitalisation, this is food that has been specially prepared to help with some diseases and conditions. If this is not necessary then we will feed a lifestage diet such as Hills Science Plan. For those patients that have not been interested in food recently or are fussy eaters, we will offer tempting treats such as steamed chicken breast. If your pet is on a particular type of food then please let us know so we can maintain the normal feeding regime. You may wish to bring something from home to make your dog more at ease whilst staying with us, eg. A favourite blanket or toy.

When animals are admitted to hospital, they are generally not feeling themselves and will require less exercise. However where appropriate, they will be given the opportunity to ‘stretch their legs’ under supervision in the dog ward, or be taken outside for walks.

We do not have fixed visiting times, but if you wish to visit your pet in hospital please let us know when you would like to come in as there are times when we will be operating or using X-rays – we will always try to arrange something to suit your needs. Although your dog will usually be very happy to see you, it can also be upsetting for both pet and owner if they are not ready to go home with you. There are some cases when visitation may not be appropriate, for example after surgery when your dog will need some quiet, undisturbed time to recover.

We have excellent on-site fully qualified nursing staff to look after your pet during the night, but if necessary in critical care cases we may advise to transfer your pet to our 24-hour hospital facility North Surrey Veterinary Emergencies.

Behaviour

It’s perfectly normal for puppies to be nippy, yappy, destructive, naughty and very playful, but these behaviours in an adult dog can be difficult or even impossible to cope with.

One of the major reasons for giving up or abandoning a dog is behaviour problems and this is very sad, especially when it is the owners fault for not training the dog!

However training can be a tricky thing if you don’t understand dog behavior, how to train and what’s considered normal and what’s not.

What is Abnormal Dog Behaviour ?

If your dog has been trained, but he still displays certain “bad behaviors,” his behavior may be considered abnormal. Dog biting, puppy biting, eating poop (coprophagia), dog food aggression, excessive barking, chewing, digging, and jumping, separation anxiety, submissive urination, and extreme shyness are all considered abnormal.

Dog behavior problems can develop for a number of reasons. It can be the result of:

  • Lack of training
  • Lack of reinforcement
  • Overexcitement
  • Fear
  • Genetic susceptibility

Most pet parents have good intentions, but some people do not know how to train and don’t take the pup to classes or learn. If a dog has inadequate or no training at all, bad habits and behaviours can develop rather quickly and in some cases, they can be difficult to break.

The best thing you can do to prevent your dog from developing abnormal behaviours is to hire a trainer or enrol him in an obedience class. Our RVN Chloe runs puppy classes at our Claygate branch, please call 01372 460107 to enrol!

Puppies can mistake an owner’s lack of discipline as a sign that it’s ok to behave badly.

New and inexperienced owners may think that everything the puppy does is cute, but as the puppy grows into an adult dog, behaviours like jumping up on people, chewing, and nipping can become a nuisance and even dangerous for both the owner and the dog.

It is important to train your pet from the first day you get him to prevent behaviour issues later on. Positive reinforcement is essential. This simply means, reward the dog when he has done well. Give a snack, or one of his normal dog biscuits. He will learn to associate “good behaviour” with rewards. Even saying “good boy” and petting is good positive reinforcement.

The sound of a doorbell, the ringing of a telephone, and other situations that stimulate the dog can contribute to abnormal dog behaviour. People often encourage the dog by getting very excited when they get home, rather than being calm and praising the dog for being calm and restrained.

Many dogs become fearful because they are not exposed to enough situations during their important developmental times. Between 3 and 16 weeks is a developmental stage that puppies “soak up” all the noises & sights and they need exposed to everything at this time or they may become fearful as they grow. Have friends over, including children. Take him out (in your arms if he has not finished his vaccination course) and let him see crowds, buses, taxis and other dogs. Take him to friend’s houses if they have a nice friendly healthy dog to meet and play with.

Many dog breeds were created for specific jobs. This can predispose these specific breeds to “abnormal” behaviours that can frustrate owners. 

Weight Monitoring

Research has shown that around 50% of dogs and cats are overweight to some degree. An overweight pet is at risk from a whole range of problems including diabetes mellitus, heart disease, skin complaints, breathing difficulties and joint problems. Obesity reduces your dog’s quality of life as well as their lifespan.

Weight gain in pets is normally the result of an increase in body fat. This is most commonly caused by a pet eating too much, especially when combined with a lack of exercise. If more energy is being gained from food that is being used, the surplus will be stored in the body as fat. However, sometimes weight gain may be due to a medical disorder which requires specific treatment. Your vet will perform a physical exam and may recommend blood tests to make sure your dog is as healthy as they can be, despite the extra weight. They will then refer your dog to our FREE weight clinics. Our Registered Vet Nurses can advise you on the optimum weight your pet should be, and how to help them lose those extra pounds.

During your dog’s first weight clinic appointment, the nurse will weigh your dog and set a target weight. This will be based on their age, breed, health and individual needs. Your dog’s new diet will then be calculated and an exercise plan will be incorporated. A photo will also be taken so we can have a before after picture of your dog’s weight.

After the first appointment, your pet will require regular weight checks so we can assess their progress and make any adjustments needed to their food. We will also discuss any concerns or queries which you may have. Usually we will see your dog on a monthly basis, and when they reach their target weight, the nurse will reassess your dog’s dietary requirements to help you maintain them at their ideal weight.

We stock a wide range of diets suitable for weight control in dogs – eg. Hills prescription diet r/d. Our nurses will assess which diet is best suited for your dog’s needs.

How do I know if my pet is overweight?

You may notice some of these changes:

  • Ribs can’t be felt without applying a fair amount of pressure
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Difficulty in walking or exercising
  • Loss of an obvious waist
  • You have had to loosen your pet’s collar several times over the past year

Enrichment Toys

Dogs are meant to lead active lives – remember that most of them were bred for a specific purpose, such as hunting (retrievers, hounds), farming (collies, german shepherds) and protection (dobermanns, rottweilers). Today they spend most of their time on our sofas and we serve them free food in a bowl – no effort required. Boredom and excess energy leads to behavioural problems. So find ways to exercise your dog’s brain and body!

Exercise is the simplest way to increase the interest in your dog’s life. Most dogs will benefit from daily walks where they can sniff and explore – ideally with both some on-lead and some off-lead time, but always be careful when exercising your pet off the lead. Follow different routes and visit new places whenever you can so your dog can experience new sights and smells. Take the opportunity to play games or train with your dog. Remember to keep your dog protected from ticks and mosquitoes and take extra care in the summer months to avoid heatstroke.

Alone time – because we all lead busy lives, our dogs often end up spending a good portion of their day home alone. Giving your dog something to do when they’re by themselves means you are less likely to come home to chewed-up furniture or emptied rubbish bins. Food puzzle toys require time, patience and problem-solving, encouraging natural behaviour such as pawing, licking and chewing. KONG have an excellent range of food puzzle toys to give your dog’s brain and jaws a workout. When you first introduce your dog to a food puzzle toy, make it easy for him to empty it, as he has been used to getting his food served up to him in a bowl. As he becomes an expert, you can make it harder for him to get the food out of the toys.

Check out the KONG website for more details on how to use a KONG toy.

Learn more about your pet

You can download our PDF documents for more information.

Cushings Syndrome

Guinea Pig – Feeding

Anaesthesia

Cat – Moving House

Exotic – Critical Care

Cat & Dog – Bereavement

Remember, you can contact us anytime!