Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cat Health

When you initially bring your new cat home there may be many questions you need answering to ensure you do everything correctly to keep your cat fit and healthy. The first most important thing is to register your cat with a vet. Once you have registered with a local vet you can make an appointment which gives you the chance to get any questions answered that may be worrying you. Also this is when your vet will put together a health care plan for your cat.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are vital as they protect you cat against many different diseases that could result in causing your cat pain or in some serious circumstances death.  There are four common diseases that we can vaccinate against which are; cat flu, Feline infectious enteritis, feline leukemia virus and also feline chlamydia.

All of the vaccinations that your cat will have contain forms of the virus and bacterium that will cause some specific diseases. These vaccines are harmless but work in an effect way by stimulating the your cats immune system.  If your cat is to then come in contact with the disease they will be protected as the body will fight against it.

Your cat should receive their primary vaccination form a very young age, usually at around 9 weeks old. About three of four weeks after the primary vaccination they will need to have a booster. Boosters are given to keep the immune system as strong as possible. It is extremely important that your kitten receives their vaccinations before interacting with other animals just in case there are diseases around.

Fleas and worms

 Fleas and worms can be caught so easily and it is very common for your cat to pick them up at some point in their lives. Not only can fleas irate your cat but also yourselves. Also worms can be very harmful to humans. There are many different products on the market today that can be used to keep your cat up to date with their regular treatments. The first signs that your cat has fleas is when they are itching or chewing themselves. Within their fur you can also see flea larvae, which looks a lot like little flakes of black dirt.

Neutering

Neutering is the operation of which your cats reproductive organs are made infertile to prevent them from having any offspring. Cats are very free willed pets and can wander off for days at a time potentially coming in contact with many other cats and producing unwanted litters. For male cats the procedure is called castration and for female cats it is called spaying. Kittens are usually neutered at the age of four to six months, due to this being when their reproductive systems are fully developed.

 Exercise

Cats tend to do as they please when it comes to exercise. The older your cat will become the less movement they will make. There are cats that enjoy going out and catching a mouse but there are others that would prefer to be fast asleep by the fire.

Everyday healthcare

It is important that you do regular health checks on your cat to ensure they care healthy and not ill in anyway. If your cat is showing bad signs of sickness/diarrhoea, loss of appetite, coughing, sensitivity to specific areas, it would be a good idea to make a call to your vet as there could be something going on internally.

Diet

Kittens obviously start off drinking their mothers milk until they are about eight weeks, at this point they should be fully weaned form their mothers and onto solid foods. There are so many different brands of cat foods on the market today. There are wet food, biscuits, treats and so much more. If your cat is the only animal in the house they may not be so worried about eating too much. If so biscuits may be a good choice so they can be left around the house so that your cat can just help him self whenever. You vet may recommend a food and a good balanced diet when you initially register with them. It is vital that your cat has a source of fresh, clean water to drink at all times.

Grooming

 There are some cats that need more grooming than others. Cats that are long haired should be combed through each day as it is very easy for the hair to matt which can then increase the chances of them contracting skin conditions. Cats do like to groom themselves but it is important that you keep most of the loose hair out of their coats otherwise fur balls will appear.

Preparing for your new puppy.

Bringing a new puppy into your family is a very exciting time. Once the puppy has arrived things can become a bit chaotic so here are our top tips to help you prepare for your puppies arrival.

1)   ID tag and Microchipping

Legally dogs must now wear a collar with an ID tag that displays their owner’s name and address however adding a phone number too this helps. Collars can slip off or break which could result in your dog not making it home.  Another form of identification is via microchiping. This is a small microchip that is injected into the back of your dog’s neck and holds all of the owner’s information.  Vets have scanners which they can pick up the information from the chips.

2)   Water Bowls

These are a great source of fun for a young puppy as well as being a potential toy for chewing if they are plastic or knocked over if they are not weighted in someway. The choice of water bowls is vast and you can even choose one suited to your chosen breed of dog now. A heavy bottomed metal bowl, which can easily be cleaned, yet is less likely to tip over or be chewed is the ideal bowl.

3)   Toys

Toys are a great way for puppies to have fun and also keep them selves occupied. There is a wide range of different toys on the market today, from balls, Frisbees, tugs and so much more. Toys can also be used primarily for training purposes, which help your puppy associate training and fun together. Teething Puppies will get their mouths on anything they can possibly chew, whether it is going to cause them an injury or just mess up your home. This is a very important time to have toys for your puppy to chew on.

4)   Stair Gates

Many people just associate stair gates with children, but puppies can be even more trouble than young children at times.  Having stair gates in places to prevent your puppy from going into parts of the house they may not be allowed to also protect things they may chew.

5)   Insurance

Pet insurance can be a very important factor when buying a puppy, especially if they are the sort that can get into trouble.  Your vet would be the best person to talk to about how much basic treatments can cost, as any treatments could be costly.  It is a great idea to compare many different insurers as with any insurers you may get more cover for your money with certain companies.

6)   A Crate

When you first brought your puppy home you may have been given a travelling crate.  They are great for putting in the back of your car to show your puppy new sights and also get them used to travelling in case they do need to go to the vet. You must ensure the crate is big enough for your puppy to move around comfortably before using. Crates can be great ways to toilet train your puppy, as they do not like to go to the toilet in their own bed. At night, you can put your puppy in the crate to seep as long as they are let out at suitable times to prevent them from messing.

7)   Who will look after your puppy when you are not able to

Many people do not think who will look after their puppy whilst they are out at work or just going out for the day. There are companies that provide a service where someone can come in and either walks your puppy for you or just a quick toilet break and play to break up their day. For information on what Friends for Pets can offer please take a look at http://www.friendsforpets.co.uk/dog-walking-services/

8)   Choosing a vet

Its important that you trust the vet you have chosen, so ask a few neighboring dog owners which vets they may use. In a case of an emergency it’s great to know that you are not too far away from your vet. There are many different tools that can be used on the interest to search for vets in your area, as well as their client reviews. Taking things along to the vets with you such as treats or toys is great as it may make the puppy calm down and not associate the vets with bad experiences.

9)   Training your puppy

Training is one of the most important aspects of bringing up your puppy. Socialization would e top of the list, to ensure they will get on with other dogs and people. There are many puppy classes, which can be a great idea for your puppy to interact with others, and you can share experiences with other owners.  Dogs that had hardly any socialization when they were puppies re more likely going to be badly behaved around others. It is important that you do have control over your dog as it just makes your life and your dogs life much more enjoyable and less stressful.

10) Collar

When you first get your puppy depending on their age they may not be able to go out for walks until they have had all of their essential jabs. It’s a good idea to put a lead and collar on your puppy when they go out in the garden or just around the house within this period. When it comes to going for walks there will be no issue of putting the lead on. There are so many different collars and leads you can but today, in many different materials.  Collars can be adjusted depending on the width of your puppy’s neck. For a comfortable fit you should be able to fit a couple of fingers between the collar and your puppy’s neck. Its amazing how quick they grow so it is important you check the fitting very frequently.

 

 

 

 
 

Ten Fabulous Dog Walks in the Cheddar Valley!

1)     Kings Wood – With it’s own car parking this National Trust area offer some fanstastic walking all year round. From the gorgeous blue bells to the scent of wild garlic  in the Spring this is one of the most beautiful places to let you dogs have a good run and sniff. A longer walk will take you up on to Wavering Down and Crooks Peak.

2)     The Strawberry Line – Ideally for winter walking if trying to keep doggies a bit cleaner! You can walk for miles through places such as Cheddar, Axbridge, Winscombe, Sandford, Thatcher’s Cider Apple Orchards and around Yatton. http://www.thestrawberryline.co.uk/

3)     Blackdown – Complete with it’s own trigg point the views from here are spectacular on a clear day. You can see to Wales, Exmoor, Bristol and Glastonbury all from turning on the spot! Plenty of fun for dogs to have. Be careful of the Exmoor ponies if you are taking dogs with you. http://www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/projects/discovering-black-down/

4)     Cheddar Reservoir – Lying between Axbridge and Cheddar, this great spot has a couple of car parking areas. It can get quite busy with dogs so great if your dog likes to socialise. Another great spot if trying to keep your dog a bit cleaner and dryer in wetter weather! http://www.bristolwater.co.uk/leisure/cheddar-reservoir/

5)     Draycott Sleights – A beautiful walk with incredible views! Please be aware this is a Nature Reserve rich with wildlife and wild flowers so please ensure dogs are kept under close control to enable to species already living there to thrive. http://www.somersetwildlife.org/draycott_sleights.html

6)     Cheddar Gorge – With a walk either side of the gorge there is plenty of variety of walking to choose from. Either head up the steep steps behind the Gorge shops on to the top or take a short drive and park at the top of the gorge for a gentler walk to Black Rock, Long Wood, Velvet Bottom and even up to Charterhouse. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cheddar-gorge/

7)     Rowberrow Warren – With the dog friendly Swan pub on the door step of this magnificent walk it is easy to make a day of it here. Plenty of different walks around the forest with pretty streams. Walks can lead to Burrington Coombe, Blackdown or Dolborrow. http://visitwoods.org.uk/en/visit-woods/pages/wood-details.aspx?wood=33597&site=rowberrow-warren

8)     Crooks Peak – (Also known as the sleeping Giant’s nose! Take a look at it next time  you are travelling North on the M5 heading towards it) Leading on from Kings Wood or from the car parking areas in Compton Bishop, Crooks Peak offer some great dog walks to wear the doggies out. http://www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/gallery/crook-peak-and-kings-wood/

9)     Brean Down – With stunning views across the Bristol Channel this is a walk not to be missed. With magnificent hillfort remains overlooking the beach dogs love it up here. For those that wish a flatter walk the beach is the perfect option. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brean-down/things-to-see-and-do/

10)  Sidcot – Heading from the small village of Sidcot there are numerous walks to take you up through Winterhead, over the Shipham or even over to Axbridge. With plenty of tracks and variety dogs will never get bored of the same routes over and over again!

In all these places please remember to take home your poo bags complete with poo enclosed to keep these places so beautiful.

If you would like one of our team to take your dog out to one of these beautiful walks please visit http://www.friendsforpets.co.uk/dog-walking-services/dog-walking/