Fireworks and Your Pet

None of us really want to think about the winter holiday season in September, but it is fast approaching and with it comes the bright lights and extreme noise of fireworks. The 2017 firework season in the UK will start with Diwali celebrations on the 19th October and end on New Years Eve (although that doesn’t mean that people won’t find a reason to let them off outside of these times!). There are many things that you can do to help your pet get through this season and we are here to help and advise.

Some pets are absolutely terrified of fireworks and display behaviours ranging from hiding away,  to refusing to go outside and even completely destroying items of furniture if they are left alone in the home. Every year during the firework season, the staff at Castle Vets receive many phone calls from owners about their distressed pets. Continue reading

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Pet Emergencies & First Aid Tips

We all hope our pets will never need emergency treatment, but sadly some will and emergencies always seem to happen at the most inconvenient time.

The first and most important thing in an emergency is to check that it is safe for YOU to help the animal. You will do no good if you are injured, while trying to help. Remember that

  • Animals in pain or shock, or animals that are frightened, may bite, scratch or kick whoever is trying to help (even their much loved owners)
  • If your pet has been involved in a road traffic accident, make sure it is safe for you to go on to the road.
  • Don’t jump into water after a pet, unless you are sure it is safe to do so. Many pet owners get themselves into serious trouble and often need rescuing themselves, after jumping into water when trying to rescue pets – pets which usually manage to get themselves out of difficulty with a little encouragement from dry land!
  • If your pet has been attacked by a dog or another animal, make sure you are not going to get bitten as well.

Continue reading

Puppy Awareness Week 2017

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The kennel club is working hard to raise awareness about buying puppies by holding it’s National Puppy Awareness Week (PAW) from 4th to the 10th September 2017. It aims to make sure that puppies live healthy, happy lives with suitable owners. The aim is to educate potential puppy owners, in the hope that they will buy puppies from reputable breeders or rescue centres and not from puppy farms. Puppies from puppy farms are bred with no regard for their health and well-being and are kept in appalling, unsanitary conditions.

Kennel Club research (*) shows that shockingly

  • 49% of puppies that are purchased online or from newspaper ads, without being seen first, fall sick and around 1 in 5 of those puppies end up with serious gastrointestinal problems.
  • One in five people who bought a puppy online or from a newspaper advertisement are forced to spend between £500 and £1,000 on vet bills in the first six months of the puppy’s life – this is often more than the original cost of the puppy
  • 37% (over one third) of people who ended up with a sick puppy after buying online or from newspaper adverts experienced financial problems due to the costs of having their puppy treated by a veterinary practice in order to help it get better.
  • 37% of puppies that were bought online or from a newspaper advert without being seen first, were bought as a spur of the moment decision, with almost two thirds being bought solely because of the way they looked.
  • Buying a puppy from a responsible breeder can cost owners 18%  less in unplanned veterinary fees and more importantly, the puppies are less likely to need to visit the vet for an illness in the first few months.

* Source 

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What you don’t see when you buy a puppy without seeing it with it’s mother and siblings.

Pup Aid 2017

This event will be held at Primrose Hill, London, on Saturday 2nd Pup AidSeptember this year from 10am until 5pm

Each year this very special day gives the dog-loving public, the golden opportunity to help raise awareness about the UK’s cruel puppy farming trade by attending this amazing celebrity judged fun dog show. It will be a fun day out for the whole family and a chance to get to know other dog lovers.

For more information check out the link at the bottom of this article or #PupAid2017 on twitter.

Before buying a puppy do your homework first and ask yourself

  1. Can you afford to look after a puppy, purchase pet insurance and pay the vets bills? – Research has shown that a dog can cost approximately £12000 or more in it’s lifetime. It is unfair to expect animal charities to cover your vets bills if you can’t afford to look after a puppy.
  2. Do you have enough time to devote to your puppy? – It will need quality time for exercise, training and socialisation every day of it’s life. Puppies should never be left alone for more than an hour or two and adult dogs should not be left alone for longer than four hours.
  3. Who will look after your puppy when you are on holiday or if you get sick? Kennels and dog sitters are expensive, costing around £8.00 – £20.00 per day.
  4. What breed of dog you are looking for and is it right for your lifestyle? If you lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle then active breeds such as Huskies, Collies, Spaniels and Labradors may not be the right choice for you. If you have children at home careful research should be done into your breed of choice.
  5. Do you want a pedigree dog with papers or just a certain breed or crossbred or ‘designer breed’? If you are thinking of buying a ‘designer dog breed’, remember that they often come with a hefty price tag despite just being crossbreeds (and there are often many of these breeds in rescue centres already). The aim of these breeders is often to get a cute looking dog with no regard for the fact that they may be breeding hereditary problems or bad traits from both parents into the puppies. Labradoodles for example, are often bought by people because they’ve been told that the breed does not shed fur and so are great for allergy sufferers. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing for sure if the puppy will not shed much fur (like a Poodle), or will shed a great deal of fur  (like a Labrador).

When buying a puppy  

Even if you are buying a crossbreed puppy you still need to do your research

  • Try to visit several breeders so that you can pick the best puppy for you.
  • Always visit the breeder’s home to meet the litter.
  • See the mother interacting with her litter
  • See the mother feeding her litter
  • Ask to handle the puppies if they are over 4 weeks old (wash your hands first)
  • Check that the puppies and mother are looking healthy, lively and happy
  • Handle the mother so you can get an idea of her temperament  and a good idea of how big the puppy will grow. It is not always possible, but if you get the opportunity you should meet the father too.
  • Ask about how the puppies will be socialised and what experiences they will have had before they come home to you (will they have seen lots of people, travelled in a car, experienced household noises such as the washing machine and vacuum cleaner).
  • Ask about the type of food the puppies will be weaned on and where you can get it from.
  • Ask whether the parents have been routinely vaccinated, flea treated and wormed. A puppy with un-vaccinated parents or a heavy parasite burden is much more likely to be susceptible to illness.
  • Don’t become overwhelmed by the cuteness of the puppies in the first litter you visit! If things don’t feel 100% right to you walk away.
  • Be prepared to wait for the right puppy it will be worth it.
  • Never buy out of sympathy for the pups or the conditions they are being kept in your purchase will just make a space for the next puppy and continue to fund this process.

See mum nursing her pups

For pedigree puppies (and designer crossbreeds) 

  • Ask about any genetic/hereditary problems in the breed and what tests have been done to ensure that the parents don’t have these. A good breeder will have no problems discussing these issues with you and will have had the appropriate tests done on the parents.
  • Expect to pay more for a well bred puppy, whose parents have had and passed all the relevant tests for their breed. At least you will know that your puppy is less at risk of certain breed related problems and hereditary illnesses.
  • Ask around to find out how much you should be paying for a puppy with a good pedigree. As a general rule you get what you pay for so if that price tag seems too good to be true it probably is!
  • You will need to obtain a pedigree certificate and a contract of sale when you take your new pet home with you. If a puppy does not come with kennel club papers you should not be paying top price for it.

Whatever type of puppy you are buying, you should expect to be asked lots of questions about your home and lifestyle from the dog breeder. This shows that they care about where the puppy are going and how you will look after it.

A good breeder will also ask you to spend time with adult dogs of the same breed and chat to other owners so that you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for! This is particularly important if you have chosen one of the less common breeds.

See mum interacting with her pups

Puppies from rescue centres

If you get your puppy from a rescue centre the above requests and questions may not apply. Often puppies have been abandoned so the staff may not know any background history, and may only be able to give an educated guess at the breed and likely temperament. Most of the larger rescue centres do a great job of matching puppies to owners and often perform behavioural assessments on puppies, so don’t be put off by the lack of history here. You may also be surprised to hear that there are many pedigree and desirable crossbreed puppies and youngsters that have found their way into rescue centres.

Labrador pup

All puppies should be microchipped – it is the law in England

All puppies must now be microchipped and registered on an approved database by the time they go to their new homes. Ensure that the breeder/rescue centre gives you all of the relevant paperwork when you collect your puppy, so that you can transfer the ownership.

lab-puppies-for-sale

Don’t buy from Pet Shops or Garden Centres, they will almost certainly come from puppy farms

Avoid falling into the ‘puppy farm’ trap

  • Remember that no responsible, caring breeder (whether of pedigrees or crossbreeds) would ever sell their puppies through a third party such as a pet shop or via websites like Gumtree.
  • Never buy from any breeder that has more than two bitches with puppies at any one time. With this many animals they cannot possibly cater to every puppy’s individual requirements, socialisation and habituation needs.
  • Always buy puppies that have been raised in a household environment rather than a shed or barn. Outdoor puppies will not have been used to much human contact or common household noises and events, which can make them fearful and nervous and can lead to behavioural problems.
  • Always see the mother interacting with the puppies – if you cant see the mother with the puppies how do you know the dog they are showing you is the mother of that litter?
  • Never accept excuses about the mother being out for a walk or sick – if you don’t see the mother how do you know that she has a good temperament?
  • Never let the breeder bring the puppy to you – if they offer this how will you know anything about the environment they have grown up in or the temperament of the parents?
  • Don’t buy puppies from pet shops or garden centres – these puppies are usually from puppy farms and you will have no idea about their history, temperament or if their parents suffered from any genetic disease or conditions. They will also have been placed in a very stressful environment during their sensitive socialisation period, which is not the best start in life.

IF YOU VISIT PUPPIES AND YOU SUSPECT THAT IT IS A PUPPY FARM, PLEASE DO NOT BUY A PUPPY OUT OF SYMPATHY. ANY PURCHASE WILL ONLY ENCOURAGE THESE PEOPLE TO CARRY ON BREEDING. YOU SHOULD CONTACT THE RSPCA IF YOU FEEL THAT THE ADULT DOGS OR PUPPIES ARE BEING NEGLECTED AT ALL. 

 

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Click this image to visit the kennel club PAW site

At Castle Vets in Reading we offer free clinics so that you can get the best advice from one of our veterinary nurses on where to look for a puppy, what breeds might be suitable for you and what costs may be involved in keeping a puppy. We are also happy to discuss this over the phone. Please contact us for an appointment or if you would like advice on any aspect of pet care.

Further Information

Thinking Of Getting A New Pet – Our guide to what you need to think about first

How to look for your new pet – our guide to how to find the right pet and what you should look out for

Puppy Awareness Week – Kennel Club Information Page

PupAid – Pupaid events 2017

Troublesome Ticks & Harvest Mites

Ticks and Harvest Mites are small parasites that survive by feeding on different animal hosts, including mammals, birds and even humans if they get the opportunity. They can be a real nuisance for affected pets, often causing irritation, inflammation and sometimes infection and disease.

Ticks

There are many tick species in the UK but the ones that commonly cause problems by feeding off our pets are the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) and the hedgehog tick (Ixodes hexagonus).

Ticks are mostly found in areas with long grasses, in woodlands or in heathland but they can be found in gardens if they have been transported by wild animals during their larval or nymph stages. They can attach anywhere on the animal’s body but are usually found around the head, neck and ears. Owners often mistake ticks for wart-like growths on their pets because of their size and colour. Continue reading

Pet Law – Your responsibilities as a pet owner

law

Owning and caring for a pet can be a source of great enjoyment, but being a pet owner is also a huge responsibility and part of being a responsible owner includes knowing about and understanding the law surrounding pet ownership.  A surprising number of pet owners in the UK are not aware of the law, or of what they are required to provide for their pets to ensure their physical and mental well being. The PDSA’s Annual PAW Report 2016 showed that only 39% of pet owners surveyed were familiar with the Animal Welfare Act (this is an improvement on 35% from 2016) .

Although not all owners are familiar with the ins and outs of the actual Animal Welfare Act, the majority are providing everything their pet needs already. Sadly though, the RSPCA investigated a total of 149,604 complaints of animal abuse last year,  successfully prosecuted 744 people (down by 6.53%) and secured 628 disqualification orders following prosecution (down 4.46%)

The Animal Welfare Act

This came into force on April 6th 2007. It increased and introduced new penalties for acts of cruelty, neglect, mutilation, tail docking and animal fighting but importantly, it also introduced a duty of care for all pet owners. There is no particularly perfect way to care for pets because each pet will have it’s own individual needs, so it is up to you as the owner to find out what your particular pet’s needs are and ensure that you can meet them.

The Animal Welfare Act applies to anyone who is responsible for an animal whether permanently or temporarily and includes fines of up to £20,000, a maximum jail term of 51 weeks and a lifetime ban on some owners keeping pets.

Under Section 9  of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 you must  take all reasonable steps to ensure that you meet  the needs of your pet. I have listed the Welfare points in bold and added suggestions of how this can be achieved.

1. Provide a suitable environment and living space 

  • You pet will need a safe, clean environment with protection from hazards. If your pet is kept outside you need to check it frequently to ensure he or she is safe and well.
  • A comfortable, clean, dry, quiet, draught-free rest area.
  • Somewhere to hide in order to avoid things that frighten it.
  • Access to an appropriate place, away from its resting area, which it can use as a toilet area.
  • The living area should be large enough to be comfortable and provide sufficient space to move around in. Minimum cage sizes for small animals such as rabbitsguinea pigsrats and other rodents should be taken into consideration – the bigger the better!
  • The living area should be properly ventilated and at the correct temperature so that the pet does not get too hot or cold.
  • You should never leave your pet unattended in any situation, or for any period of time, that is likely to cause it distress or harm.
  • When transporting your pet, make sure it is comfortable, safe and secure at all times. The transport must be well ventilated and at the correct temperature. Your pet should have access to water if the journey is longer than a few hours (small furries and birds should have access to food and water all of the time). Bedding or flooring must be adequate and absorb any moisture if the pet goes to the toilet during transport. Dogs should be given toilet breaks on longer journeys, but ensure they cannot escape in an unfamiliar place! 

    This hutch is far too small

2. Provide a diet suitable for your pet’s needs

  • Your pet will need clean fresh drinking water at all times. If  you own a dog, this may mean taking water with you on walks where clean water is unlikely  to be available.
  • You must provide your pet with a balanced diet that is suited to its individual needs including its age, level of activity and health.
  • You must ensure that you feed the correct amount of food and that your pet is maintained at the correct weight and does not become underweight or overweight/obese.
  •  Your pet must be able to reach it’s food and water easily.
  • If you are uncertain what diet is best for your pet you should seek advice from a veterinary practice or suitably qualified pet care specialist.

3. Allow your pet to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns

  • Make sure your pet has enough things to do in it’s environment so that it does not become distressed or bored. This may mean adding toys, hiding places, climbing places, scratching posts, ladders, digging places, activity toys and feeders etc to suit your pet’s individual requirements. For example giving cats access to high places and scratching places.
  • Make sure your pet has access to safe toys and suitable objects to play with and, in the cases of some pets, chew on.
  • Ensure that your pet can rest undisturbed when it needs to – this may mean giving them a bed, crate or separate part in their living space where they will not be disturbed by people or other animals when they are resting.
  • Provide your pet with regular opportunities for exercise and play with people or other pets, depending on the species and needs of your pet.
  • Make sure that your pet has the opportunity to exercise properly every day. It is important to keep your pet fit, active and mentally stimulated. If you are unsure how much or what type of exercise to provide, seek advice from a veterinary nurse or suitably qualified pet care specialist.
  • Ensure that where appropriate you train your pet. Use only positive reward based training and avoid harsh, painful or frightening training methods. Training is not only necessary for a well behaved pet, it is great for mental stimulation and bonding. Although most people associate training with dogs, almost any pet can be trained including cats, rabbits, rodents and birds. (View our training article)

4. To house your pet with, or apart from, other animals 

  • Make sure that your pet is never left alone long enough for it to become distressed.
  • Some pets are solitary and do not need to live with other animals, for example some dogs, cats and certain types of rodents prefer to be live as a sole pet, but others such as rabbits, guinea pigs and rats are very social and should be housed with one or more companions of the same species.
  • If your pet lives on it’s own make sure that it has opportunities to spend enough time with people so that it does not become lonely or bored.
  • In the case of dogs, you should  ensure that your dog has plenty of opportunity to meet, socialise and play with other friendly dogs. Encourage your dog to be friendly towards other dogs from an early age. There are some dogs that just don’t like other dogs, so in this case you will need to ensure they have plenty of contact from you.
  • Animals should be given regular opportunities to socialise with people and, where appropriate for the species of pet, other animals from an early age.
  • It is important that if you keep more than one pet of the same or different species, that they get on well together and do not fight. They must have plenty of space to move away or hide from each other if necessary.
  • When pets live together adequate extra resources must be provided for some species, for example separate water bowls, food bowls, litter trays and toys. This will help avoid any conflict and tension over valuable resources. With dogs you may need to make an effort to provide them with 1-1 time with you and without the other dog.
  • If your dog is fearful of, or aggressive towards other dogs or people, or if certain social  interactions distress or frighten your dog we advise you seek appropriate advice from a qualified canine behaviourist.

Some animals need the company of others of their own species

5. To protect your pet from pain, suffering, injury, illness and disease

  • You need to take precautions to keep your pet safe from injury.
  • If you notice any changes in your pet’s behaviour or normal routine you should contact a veterinary practice and follow the advice you are given.
  • Check your pet regularly for signs of injury, disease or illness.
  • Maintain your pet’s condition, for example grooming and removing any knots in the coat (or get a groomer to do this for you) , making sure there is no faecal matter and urine on the the coat and making sure that your pet is fit and well.
  • If you recognise signs and symptoms of disease, suspect that your pet is in pain, ill or injured or if you have any concerns about its health or welfare contact a veterinary practice and follow the advice regarding treatment.
  • Ensure that your pet has regular veterinary health checks and that you provide preventative health care, where appropriate to the species of pet, for example vaccinations, booster vaccinations, worming, flea treatment and neutering.
  • Clean up after your pet including cleaning the toileting area and cage or enclosure regularly and with the appropriate, safe cleaning products to avoid disease and illness.
  • Protect your pets from ingesting or coming in to contact with harmful household items and substances such as medicines and foods intended for humans or other animals, cleaning products or antifreeze.  You should always seek veterinary advice if you suspect that your pet has eaten anything harmful.
  • Collars on cats and dogs should be of the correct size and fit, and should not cause any pain or discomfort; dogs are required to wear a collar and identity tag when in a public place by law.
  • If your pet is microchipped remember to keep the microchip database up to date with any changes in your contact details.
  • You should seek the advice of your veterinary practice before breeding your pet and take all reasonable steps to ensure that both the male and female pets are fit and healthy, with no inheritable diseases or conditions and that you will be able to find suitable homes for the offspring.

Every person that owns and/or looks after an animal must take this act into consideration so that they can be sure they are providing the right care for that animal at all times.  

Dog-specific Laws

As a responsible dog owner, there are several laws regarding dog ownership that you should be aware of and we have put the most important ones into this article.

Microchipping of Dogs (Control of Dogs Order)

All dogs in England must be microchipped and registered on an approved database by the time they are 8 weeks old. Breeders will need to microchip their puppies before they are transferred to a new owner. and new owners will be responsible for updating the microchip with their details. The owners/keepers of the dog must ensure that their details are kept up to date on the microchip database for their dog.

More information on Microchipping

Identification (Control of Dogs Order)

Your dog must wear an identity disk or tag on his or her collar (or harness) while in a public place i.e. anywhere outside your property. The tag must have, at the very least, your surname and address on it; a contact telephone number is optional. This law applies even if your dog is microchipped and there is a fine of up to £5000 that may be given if your dog is in a public place and not wearing some form of ID. This applies regardless of whether you are with your dog or not.

Dog Law ID Tag

Many dog owners are unaware that this is a legal requirement!

Public Spaces Protection Orders (Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act
and the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act)

Some public areas in England and Wales are covered by Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) – previously called Dog Control Orders (DCOs). There should be signs up designating these controlled areas

In public areas with PSPOs, you may have to:

  • Keep your dog on a lead – this may be all of the time or during certain hours and times of the year.
  • Put your dog on a lead if told to by a police officer, police community support officer or someone from the council.
  • Stop your dog going to certain places – like farmland or parts of a park
  • Limit the number of dogs you have with you (this applies to professional dog walkers too)

If you ignore a PSPO, you can be fined a £100 on the spot fixed penalty notice or up to £1,000 if it goes to court (You can’t be fined if you’re a registered blind dog owner).

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act – Cleaning Up After Your Dog (Poop Scooping)

It is illegal to let your dog foul in a public place and not clean it up. Claiming that you are unaware that your dog had defecated or not having the correct equipment with you (i.e. poop bags), is not an acceptable excuse. Dog poo on pavements and in playing/green areas is not only unpleasant for other people and animals, but it also carries health hazards.

You can face an on the spot fixed penalty fine of £50 -£80 if you do not clean up after your dog. If you refuse to pay the fine you can be prosecuted and face a court appearance with a fine of up to £1000

Clean up after your dog. Not only is it against the law to let your dog foul in public places, it's unpleasant for other people too.

Clean up after your dog. Not only is it against the law to let your dog foul in public places, it’s unpleasant for other people too.

Stray Dogs (Environmental Protection Act)

If the owner fails to come forward and pay the Council’s fees within 7 days from date of seizure or service of a notice, the Council may rehome the dog or may have it put to sleep.

Yet another reason why your dog should wear an id tag and be microchipped.

Control Of Your Dog – Dangerous Dogs Act and the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act

It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control. This now applies to both private property and public places.

  • You must be able to control your dog at all times, this means being able to call your dog back to you and making sure that he or she responds to you.
  • Your dog must not jump up at or chase other members of the public. Even the friendliest or smallest of dogs can cause damage by jumping up at someone, especially a child or an elderly person.
  • If there is any possibility that your dog is might attack another dog or a person he or she must be muzzled in public places.
  • You must not train or encourage your dog to attack/threaten people or other dogs.

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

1. Injures someone

2. Makes someone worried that it might injure them

3. It attacks a Guide Dog

A court may also consider your dog dangerously out of control if

1. It injures someone’s animal

2. If the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

Depending on the severity of the offence you could be faced with a prison sentence of  between 6 months and 14 years and/or an unlimited fine. Your dog may be destroyed and you may not be able to own dogs in the future.

If your dog is likely to bite someone then you must take every precaution to prevent this from happening

If you think your dog might bite or attack someone then you must take every precaution to prevent this from happening

Walking and Travelling With your Dog (The Road Traffic Act)

It is an offence to have a dog on a designated road without it being held on a lead.

Dogs (or indeed any animal) travelling in vehicles should not be a nuisance or in any way distract the driver during a journey. When travelling in a vehicle, you must ensure that your dog is suitably restrained, either in a crate/carrier, behind a dog guard or by using a seatbelt harness. A dog that is loose in a car can cause an accident very easily.

If you are involved in a collision between your vehicle and a dog, you must stop, and the police must be informed. The driver of a car involved in a collision with a dog MUST stop and stay on the scene until the police have given the driver permission to leave, which usually happens after they have attended the scene (If you see someone hit a dog with a car and drive off, inform the police and give them as much detail as possible).

If the dog was loose at the time of the incident, the owner of the dog may be liable for any damage caused to the car or any injury caused to the driver (see third party liability below), which is another great reason to insure your pet.

Noise Nuisance (Environmental Protection Act)

A barking dog can be classed as a statutory nuisance if it is intrusive and irritating and is affecting someone’s quiet enjoyment of their property. If a complaint is made to the local authority, they may serve a Noise Abatement Notice.  For more information read our barking dogs article.

Causing Distress to Farm Animals (Protection of Livestock Act)

You must never let your dog off the lead anywhere near livestock (farm animals/horses) unless you can be absolutely sure that he or she won’t go anywhere near them. You are responsible for what your dog does, and if your dog is worrying livestock -“Worrying” means attacking, chasing in a way that could cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce, or simply being loose (not on lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure containing livestock -,  you can be fined up to £1,000 plus compensation to the farmer.

You could also be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act, meaning a much harsher sentence for you and possibly also your dog, if he or she was deemed to be dangerously out of control.

farm

Farm animals get worried by dogs very easily

Third Party Liability (Animals Act and Dangerous Dogs Act)

The keeper of a dog is strictly liable for any damage caused by the dog in certain circumstances. This can include destruction of property and personal injury, illness or death (including the damage done to a person or their car if they hit your dog in the road!) It is recommended that you take out third party insurance liability cover as a precaution.

Please note

The above information is only a guideline of the laws involved in pet ownership, for further and more in-depth information on dog law we recommend that you visit www.legislation.gov.uk

The law surrounding dog ownership can be very complicated especially if a dog has injured someone. If you are concerned or you are involved in a case about your own dog, we recommend that you contact a dog law specialist as soon as possible for advice.

Tooth Problems Of Rabbits and Small Pets

rabbits and rodents

At Castle Vets we see many rabbits and rodents with a variety of different dental problems. The teeth of most animals (including humans) stop growing after the initial development period, but rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs and rodents have teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives, which means dental problems will develop if these pets are unable to grind their teeth down through feeding and chewing.

Symptoms of a dental problem

  • Decreased appetite, your pet may stop eating completely or only manage very small amounts at a time.
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at or rubbing their face on things
  • Swellings around the jaw area or under the eye
  • Weight loss
  • Runny eyes (one or both eyes may be involved)
  • Discharge from the cheek or jaw area
  • Overgrown teeth may be visible

If your pet is showing any of these symptoms, please book an appointment with your vet straight away.

Continue reading

Children and Dogs – Practical Tips

It Can Be Great To Grow Up With A Dog In The Family and many children can benefit from sharing a home with a dog. Taking care of a dog can help older children learn to plan and be responsible, while exercising and playing with a dog at any age is an great way to release excess energy and keep fit. A dog can also give a child unconditional love and someone to talk to and there has also been extensive research into how dogs can help children with learning difficulties, ADHD, Asperger syndrome and Autism.

There is no denying that dogs make fantastic pets and companions, however, it is very important to recognise the potential hazards or dog ownership and try to minimise any risks where children are present.

The purpose of this article is to help you make sure that children are always safe around dogs (and Vice Versa!) we want people to be Mindful and Not Fearful of Dogs.

Copyright Clare Espley RVN

Sylas taking a well deserved rest, after an hour of playing at being a ‘police dog’ and catching imaginary criminals in the woods with his boy. They both had fun racing about at top speed.

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