What should you keep in stock in case your pet gets ill?  What is safe to use and when should you call your vet urgently?

Dr Rosie gives us some advice for the commonest problems but first a quick checklist, if you’re reading this with a sick pet right now.

Severe injuries, frequent vomiting, whelping/kittening problems,  breathing difficulties, biting/fight injuries  should always be discussed with your vet before you attempt first aid.

Some things that seem trivial will ring alarm bells in most vets’ heads. Equally what may be worrying for an owner can sometimes  be simply dealt with.  A quick call to the surgery should give you an idea, although the vet, if unsure, will err on the side of caution and ask you to take your pet in to the surgery.

If it is a genuine emergency it is also helpful to ring the surgery first. This may seem like a waste of time but it will allow the surgery to get ready for your arrival.

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Suggested first aid kit list

Cotton wool and bandaging material

Aloe vera gel/manuka honey.

Powdered probiotics.

Old sports socks.

Piriton (Please speak to your vet before you add this to your FA kit)


Buster Collar


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Tummy upset or diarrhoea

This is very common in dog s and cats. The normal recommendation is to withhold food for twenty four hours and then reintroduce a bland diet. This would be rice/ potato or pasta accompanied by plain boiled fish or chicken, or scrambled egg or tinned tuna, preferably in spring water.

Most tummy upsets are caused by the ‘wrong sort of bacteria’ in the gut, either because your pet has eaten something undesirable  - dead mouse or dead pizza, has raided the bin or been given (or stolen)  too many leftovers.  The reason for withholding food is to stop ‘adding fuel to the fire’ – the bad bacteria will thrive on the food you give. Reintroducing a bland diet as suggested above means that there will be little indigestible matter for the bad guys to feed on. I often recommend adding in some probiotics which can be bought powdered from many health food shops. You can give small amounts of bio yogurt as long as you know your pet normally tolerates milk.

People are often alarmed at seeing blood in the stools. If the blood is bright red and your dog is otherwise well this is not usually a serious problem and just means that the bowel lining is sore. In most cases it will clear up as the diarrhoea improves.

When you start reintroducing food do so little and often, a couple of teaspoons/ tablespoons at a time , depending on the size of your pet. With this regime the diarrhoea should clear up gradually over two to three days. Once your pet is passing normal stools gradually reintroduce its usual food.

It is safe to treat diarrhoea at home as long as:

 Your pet is still well in other respects – still asking for walks, playing with toys etc.

Vomiting is rare or occasional – once or twice daily at most, and your pet is otherwise well

Your pet is not young or very old. Puppies and kittens under five months and older animals can get dehydrated very quickly from diarrhoea.

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Grazes, cuts and scrapes, torn claws

What if your pet has a small rash? A tic bite, a sore spot. What can you put on it?

The following are safe, antibacterial, gentle and helpful – salty water ( about two tablespoons to half a pint of luke warm water),  aloe vera gel or  manuka honey . (Ordinary honey will work too because of the high sugar content which kills bacteria).

I would wash first in salty water and then apply aloe or honey twice daily.  It is important to try and stop your pet from licking the wound as, contrary to the old wives tales about licking being  healing,  this is often what makes them worse. In this respect a  correctly fitted buster collar is useful ( make sure your pet can still eat and drink with it on and keep cats indoors),  a thick sock – either to prevent licking or to stop the claws scratching the sore area, or a modified t shirt are also helpful. Socks can be held on by pulling the sock up over the wrist or hock joint and winding sticky tape around it where the leg narrows so that it can’t slip back down – not too tight though!

Do not apply tea tree oil or neem oil , both of these are toxic to cats and irritant to dogs. TCP, savlon and other such antiseptics are also inappropriate , damaging to the skin and stingy!

If the wound is not improving over a couple of days, if it smells bad or it is getting worse rather than better then ring your vet.

Torn claws sometimes bleed a lot and are usually very painful. If your pet will let you then bathe the claw- or whole foot in salty water for five minutes, twice daily. This will help stop infection and will ease off the old nail.

If your pet is lame with a torn claw it may need antibiotics to settle it or even the remaining nail removing. This usually has to be done under sedation so see your vet.

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Larger wounds

Any cut/injury  that continues to bleed after a few minutes, is gaping or has  twigs/wire etc in it should be seen by the vet. Use clean bandaging material to cover a wound. It doesn’t matter if you put the bandage on a little too tight if you are going straight to the surgery. Stopping bleeding and keeping infection out are more important in the short term.

Injured animals are often in pain or frightened and this will make them more likely to bite in which case a muzzle may be appropriate. If moving an injured cat grasp it firmly by the scruff and then support its body to transfer it to a pet carrier – an open top one is easier or simply use a large plastic or cardboard box. Alternatively throw a large thick towel over the cat and scoop it up in this.

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Wasp and bee stings

These can cause a great deal of swelling, usually on the paw, sometimes in the mouth.  Dogs can be given piriton, usually fast acting and effective. A half to a whole 4mg tablet, depending on the size of your dog.

Ring your surgery if unsure. Be cautious if the sting is in the mouth and your pet is having difficulty breathing or swallowing. This is an emergency for the vet to deal with.

Only use Piriton under veterinary supervision - please speak to your vet before adding Piriton to your First-Aid kit

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Burns and scalds

These are almost always more severe in animals than in people because pets are generally smaller and the area affected by a burn is proportionately larger. Look out for burning from a hot water bottle provided for poorly pets or newborns.

Remember that these animals cannot easily move away from a heat source and can suffer burns in this way.  For these animals it is better to make sure that the room they are kept in is generally snug.

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Win A Giftbox For Your Dog Worth £50 

From Healthful Pets 'best for your pets naturally'

Closes 20th October 2018 at 11.59pm

 To enter, simply answer the question on the form below!




This Dog Gift Box is worth £50 and comprises:

• Peggy the Pig Eco Dog Toy (Green & Wilds)

• Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Tin of Calming Dog Treats (The Dog Treat Company)

• 9" Ellie the Elephant Crinkle Soft Toy (Simply Fido)

• Orange Blossom Dog Shampoo (K9 Organics)

• Yakkers Medium Dog Chew (Himalayan)

• Blue Medium eco-friendly Ball (Beco)

• Fish Deli Cubes Dog Treats (Green & Wilds)





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Peggy The Pig

Peggy The Pig by Green & Wilds is made from four layers of jute twin stitched over recycled cotton and jute rope, and a recycled bottle to add that "CRUNCH" when playing. Covered in a soft suede, it has a Velcro behind so you can replace the crinkler bottle or add tasty treats to really get some interest.  


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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Tin of Calming Dog Treats

This liver dog treat with added valerian root, lavender and chamomile from The Dog Treat Company is the perfect relaxing treat for evenings, holidays and weekends. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie is gluten free, grain free and contains no hidden nasties. It is hand-baked using the finest human grade herbs, spices and oils to provide your pet with the very best with all natural, ethically sourced human grade ingredients.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Tin of Calming Dog Treats

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Ellie the Elephant Crinkle Soft Toy

Ellie the Elephant is a grey and white elephant character who is approximately 23 cm tall. Her soft organic outer is durable and well made and the fact that non-toxic dyes are used you can be assured that any play is safe. Ellie's body is filled inside with crinkle paper for added play-time fun and interaction and less mess with this “stuff-less” toy.

ellie the elephant

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Orange Blossom Dog Shampoo (K9 Organics)

K9 Organics Orange Blossum Dog Shampoo is a skin calming, coat enhancing dog shampoo boosting numerous health improving benefits. The high content of antioxidant compounds from organic zesty orange helps to create a luscious clean healthy coat, while helping to naturally repel bugs and fleas, leaving behind only a subtle uplifting scent to keep your dog fresh and relaxed - with no chemical residues! 

orange blossom

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Yakkers Medium Dog Chew (Himalayan)

YAKERS Himalayan Yak Milk Dog Chews are made from cheese that comes from a blend of skimmed Yak and Cow milk obtained from local farmers in the Himalayan region under fair trade conditions which is turned into tasty dog chews using traditional methods The cheese is vegetarian as the only ingredients are milk, with the smallest amount of Lime Juice and Salt to help turn the milk into cheese. This is then compressed into blocks and smoke dried for 28 days to give the chews their unique flavour.

yakers med

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Blue Medium eco-friendly Ball

The Beco Treat Ball is suitable for all dog breeds and is made from natural rubber and risk husk fibres which has been carefully designed to be healthy, safe and an ethical dog toy for your pet. The Beco Ball is also vanilla scented and has a hole for your dog's treats and the hollow cavity whistles when thrown.The wobbly shape also makes the ball bounce and roll randomly, whilst your dog plays and chases it around. 


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Fish Deli Cubes Dog Treats (Green & Wilds)

These tasty little Ocean Cubes are caught in our British waters, and then naturally dried to keep all that fishy goodness in. They are great for removing tartar from teeth and help provide a beautiful shiny coat due to being packed with Omega 3. Made from 100% fish skin they are as healthy as they are natural and great as a reward or training treat. If your dog has done well don’t be shellfish!

fish deli


For more information please visit https://www.healthfulpets.co.uk

For your chance to win this Fab Giftbox for your Dog just answer the question on the form below! 

Closes 20th October 2018 at 11.59pm


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This competition can be found on the following websites:

Loquax • The Prize Finder • UK Competitions • Competitions TimeCompetition Database


  1. Competition Entry Form
  2. What breed of Dog is Scooby Doo?(*)
    Please choose an answer from the options above
  3. Name(*)
    Please provide your name
  4. Email Address(*)
    Please check your email address. We can only accept one entry per email address.
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  9. Competition Details
    This competition starts on the 18th September 2018 and closes on the 20th October 2018 at 11.59pm in Great Britain;
    Entries received after this date will not be counted
    The prize in this competition is a dog gift box worth £50 for which there is no cash alternative or substitute prize;
    This competition is open to any person over the age of 18 and is restricted to the residents of the UK with access to the internet - excluding the promoter, their immediate families, and anyone else professionally connected with the competition
  10. Terms and Conditions
    Only one entry per email address is permissible;
    No cash or prize alternative offered
    No purchase is necessary in order to enter this competition;
    There is no charge for entering this competition
    The winner will be selected at random from the correct entries received
    Entries with an invalid email address will be discounted
    The winner will be notified by email within 72 hours of the end of the competition and will receive their prize within 3 weeks;
    The winner's name will be made available;
    Promoted by the Good Vet & Pet Guide T/A The Good Pet Guys


There's Oodles of 'Noodles' at Scruffs® this September

Manchester-based luxury pet bedding manufacturers Scruffs® have announced two product additions to its increasingly popular Noodle Dry Mat.

Scruffs® Noodle Drying Mitts & Towels are extremely absorbent and use the same proven materials as the best-selling Noodle Dry Mat, which has been on sale since 2015.

Micro-fibre chenille is used to produce the 'noodles'. The micro-fibre material is made from millions of textured, ultrafine strands woven together to achieve a surface area that is much greater than the actual size of the product.

This vast surface area gives each product its’ super-absorbent properties, soaking up water just like a sponge, as well as improving airflow, this means drying time is greatly reduced.

A spokesperson for the brand, said: “We are excited to finally reveal our new Noodle Drying Mitts & Towels, after being in development for the last 6 months. We are confident both products will add value to the current Drying collection and will offer consumers more variety in this category.”

Scruffs® is expected to launch their new Noodle Drying Mitts & Towels at the beginning of September 2018.



For more information on any Scruffs® new products, or for general enquiries, please contact the Scruffs® marketing team:

E: marketing@petslovescruffs.com or

T: +44 (0) 161 702 5060

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SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Connect plus Hub

The Most Advanced Cat Flap Ever

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• Reads your cat’s microchip or SureFlap RFID Collar Tag (not included) to keep intruder animals out

• The Hub (included) connects the cat flap to the Sure Petcare app so that you can monitor your cat’s activity and notice changes in behaviour

• Receive notifications when your cat enters or leaves the house

• Lock/unlock the cat flap remotely and set or change curfew times

• DualScanTM technology lets you set exit permissions for each cat so that you can keep certain cats indoors whilst letting others come and go



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Works with your pet’s existing microchip

Our products work with all common microchips. For peace of mind, check yours is compatible by visiting the SurePet website  here 

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How It Works

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How It Works

Connect the Hub to a spare port on your home router. The Hub acts as the link between the cat flapand the internet. 

connect hub

The Sure Petcare app provides you with notifications and reports on your pet's location and activity.

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Install the Microchip Cat Flap Connect into doors, walls or windows. Just like a normal cat flap.


When your pet interacts with the Microchip Cat Flap Connect it will let you know. You can also control when your pets are allowed to leave.

pet interacts

Choose who stays indoors and who can leave with DualScan™ technology, and change permissions using the Sure Petcare app.



EN Cat Flap Connect Hub and Phone


Connect with the Hub which links the Microchip Cat Flap Connect to the Sure Petcare app

no intruders

Prevents intruder animals entering your

aa battery

Battery powered with up to 6 months battery life (4 x AA batteries not included)


Receive notifications when your pet enters and leaves your home


Set exit permissions for each pet to keep specific pets indoors using DualScan™ technology


Know whether your pets are at home, monitor long-term activity and notice changes in behaviour


Share app access with friends and manage their permissions

remote unlock

Remotely lock or unlock the cat flap anytime, anywhere from the Sure Petcare app


Create a curfew - set the door to lock and unlock at specified times or take control at any time using the Sure Petcare app

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Sure Petcare (previously SureFlap) is a pet lifestyle specialist with a simple mission - to develop smart pet products that improve the way we care for our pets.

Sure Petcare (previously SureFlap) is a Cambridgeshire based smart pet product company offering solutions to some of the most common and pressing problems faced by pet owners - intruder animals in the home and how to segregate pets at meal times in a multi-pet home.


Sure petcare cat   connect pet door  

Tel: 0800 012 4511

Visit: https://www.surepetcare.com/en-gb

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Fruit and vegetables which you can feed safely to your dog

These amazing ingredients are packed full of natural goodness - so get down to your local store and load up!

Your fur family will thank you!

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Plums are great for dogs, you must never feed the stone.

They are a high source of fibre both soluble and insoluble which are vital for maintaining intestinal health and regularity.

A high source of vitamin C and K a great fat soluble vitamin for immune support.


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Rich in Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium this low calorie vegetable is a great source of fibre.

Packed with phyto-nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye health.


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Is known to be one of the best anti-cancer vegetables.

Most nutrients are found in the stem but all parts of the vegetable can be fed. Packed with vitamin A, C & K it’s low in fat and high in fibre. 


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Any colour

Red, yellow, orange or green are all great for your dog.

Loaded with water peppers make a great snack for renal dogs or part of weightless diets. Rich in Vitamin A, B6, C, E & K they are full of antioxidants protecting the body against free radicals.


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Mangoes are not only sweet, but they are rich in fibre. High in vitamin A, B6, C & E this fruit is a sweet immune supportive treat.

Mangos are not only full of antioxidants they also contain quercitin which is fantastic for decreasing inflammation, especially in dogs with allergies.


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Packed with antioxidants these yummy berries are a great source of magnesium, Vitamin C both important for a healthy immune-system and minerals potassium and manganese supporting tendon health.


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Naturally self selected by many dogs for their powerful antioxidant content, helping to reduce free radical damage on cells.

Packed with vitamin A, C, E & K for heart and skin health.


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Pumpkin is highly nutritious, rich in fibre supporting a healthy microbiota. It’s packed full of potassium to support healthy muscle function.

Rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene for immunity and eye health. Its zinc content is also supportive of skin and coat health.


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Asparagus is a great veggie for gut health, containing amino acid asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic supporting urinary tract health.

It also contains vitamin A, B6, C,E & K as well as minerals iron, copper and calcium.

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Article by Different Dog

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View our site here 

Tekephone: 01743 384 562

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❛ Our Dog Food. It's Different ❜

New menu every week. Cooked like you would at home. Delivered to your bowl.  Different Dog is the first dog food company to cook a different recipe every week.

Prepared and cooked by hand, their food contains only fresh, seasonal ingredients and a lot of Lshaded 304508 960 720 V E.



Symptoms Of Food Allergies in Dogs 

Some breeds of dogs such as the Dachshund, Boxer, and Cocker Spaniel are more prone to the development of food allergies.

This occurs when large protein molecules are not digested properly in the small intestines, thus exposing them to the various cells of the immune system.

Since 70% of these immune system cells are located in the digestive tract, they can readily mount an inflammatory response in the event that a protein molecule is found within an area where it is not supposed to be found.

Mast cells are activated by the immune system to release histamine as well as other inflammatory substances. It is this release of these substances that these 5 symptoms of food allergies in dogs are manifested.


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1. Intense itching

Itching is almost always related to the release of histamine into the bloodstream. This substance triggers the excitation of a certain type of unmyelinated C-fiber in the peripheral nervous system particularly the nerves that are found on the skin.

The electrical signals generated by the coupling of histamine to these receptors are sent to the spinal cord and then to the brain where it is interpreted as ‘itch’. Histamine-induced itching is, thus one of the most classic manifestations of food allergies in dogs. 

With intense itching comes a variety of issues that are centered on the status of your dog’s skin and coat.

Because of the constant itching, your pooch will have to scratch the affected area. This can lead to skin irritation and then inflammation.Nibbling on the itchy part can also lead to thinning of the hair in these areas. 


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2. Frequent and persistent ear infections 

One of the most often overlooked yet very common symptoms of food allergies in dogs is frequent and persistent ear infections. Many believe that the symptom has nothing to do with food allergies in dogs.

These are often a result of the reduction of your dog’s immune system cells since they have been very busy ‘managing’ the ‘foreign material’ that they consider as allergen in your dog’s tummy. Your pooch will be constantly shaking its head and scratching its ear. Even if you frequently clean your dog’s ear, the symptom simply won’t go away. Even otic medications may not actually help because it doesn’t really solve the root of the problem. 

You can try inspecting your dog’s ears for the presence of ear mites, water, or even yeast infection. If none of these are present then there is a strong chance that your pooch is suffering from food allergy.

To help you identify the causative agent you may need to employ a food-elimination diet until such time that you can zero-in on the food allergen. 



3. Changes in your dog’s nail beds 

Normally, your dog’s nail beds should be whitish in color with a pinkish quick.  However, if these turn reddish, reddish brown, brown, or even bloody-looking, it is often an indication of an inflammatory response typically mediated by histamine and other pro-inflammatory substances.

It may be wise to rule out any injury to your dog’s paws as well as for the presence of thyroid disorders as these can also produce the reddish discoloration in the nail beds. 


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4. Bronze discoloration around the dog's lips and other body parts

If you have a dog that has naturally white coat, spotting the bronze discoloration around its lips should be fairly easy. This is often an indication of yeast colonization, one of the surest signs that your dog has food allergy. Fungal species proliferate when the immune system is compromised.

Since food allergies occur because of stimulation of the immune response causing the cells of the immune system to 'destroy' the allergen, not many are left circulating to defend the rest of the dog's body. Hence, you may see brownish to reddish discoloration of your pooch's lips, toes, and jowls.

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5. Watery eyes 

This is typically brought about by the spread of pro-inflammatory substances such as histamine to the lacrimal ducts in the dog’s eyes. Because of inflammation, the lacrimal fluid is not drained in the normal mechanism. Rather, it leaks out through the lacrimal ducts and outside the eyes of the dogs.

This is a lot similar if you have allergic rhinitis or even contact dermatitis. You’ll feel nasal stuffiness that somehow blocks the normal passage of lacrimal fluid. This leads to watery eyes.

These are just 5 of the many different symptoms associated with canine food allergies. The most important thing to remember is to seek veterinary consultation in situations where you notice something ‘different’ with your dog and also buy food specifically designed for dogs with allergies to help support the prevention of unwanted conditions. 



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MyPetNeedsThat is an online platform that is created and run by pet-loving individuals with the sole purpose of providing both newbie and seasoned pet owners with exceptional products, tips, and pieces of advice that will help them better care for their respective pets.

Pet Parenting in the New Age.  

Helping pet owners choose not only the best, but the most suitable and safe products for their animals including dogs, cats, birds, snakes, fish and hamsters.

A simple bone broth recipe like the one below is incredibly easy and cheap to make. 

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Fruit of the horse-chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) 

Also known as: Horse Chestnut, Buck Eye, Chestnuts, Obblyonkers, Cheggies or Cheesers


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Conkers contain a chemical called aesculin (found in all parts of the horse chestnut tree) which is toxic to dogs if chewed and eaten.

Fatalities in cases where dogs have eaten conkers are rare but it can still make your dog very sick. They can also be swallowed whole which can cause an abdominal obstruction.

Signs of poisoning usually appear within one to six hours.



Clinical signs are:

• drooling

• excessive drinking

• vomiting

• diarrhoea (diarrhea)

• abdominal pain

• difficulty breathing.


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Keep a close eye on your dog when you’re out and about this autumn.

If you notice any Horse Chestnut trees or your dog is nose deep in fallen leaves and conkers - call them in and keep them distracted with a toy or treat until it's safe for them to 'go play'

NEVER throw conkers for your dog to fetch.

Seek immediate veterinary advice should you have any worries.

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The acorn is the nut of the oak tree (Quercus robur)

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Acorns contain gallotanins, a combination of gallic acid and tannic acid which can be harmful to dogs.

It can cause stomach upset and diarrhoea in some pets, and in some cases acorn ingestion can cause abdominal obstruction.  

Signs include

• vomiting,

• diarrhoea,

• abdominal pain,

• loss of appetite and lethargy.

Seek immediate veterinary advice should you have any worries.  

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Caring for your dog is something that you do automatically but as the summer months come to an end, are you aware of the risks that you dog faces during the autumn months?

These risks could cause problems for your dog’s health and this highlights the importance of looking after your dog in the correct way. There are many dangers out there during the autumn months and understanding them will ensure that your dog remains safe.

Fleas can be a problem all year round but during the autumn months when people begin to heat up their homes, fleas can continue to cause problems for your dog. The way to deal with this potential problem is to treat the whole house with a flea treatment (like the Acclaim Household Flea Spray), that way you can be sure that the home is flea-free. A vet will be able to recommend a product that works and will continue to work for as long as possible.

Some fleas are difficult to find especially the likes of harvest mites. When checking your pet for fleas during the autumn months, check the areas that are commonly targeted such as the abdomen, ears and paws.

dog autumn



Homeowners have a number of problems to deal with such as insects and rodents and this means that they use pesticides. These products are extremely toxic and dangerous to your pet should they ingest it and it can lead to severe illness or even death. When it comes to using these products, make sure you use them in places that are not accessible to your dog and also do your best to keep an eye on them should they be affected by these products.

Children are notorious for leaving their toys and other play items around the home. This can range from small toys that can be ingested to the likes of paint and even glue, all of which can cause problems for your dog and its health. Make sure that the children put away all toys because your dog could experience stomach problems should they swallow one of these items.

Dogs love to spend time sniffing the ground and this does mean that they could come across mushrooms and other hazardous products. If you believe that your dog has swallowed a mushroom and you are unsure whether it is poisonous or not, then do not leave it to chance. Give your vet a call. One of the other outdoor problems that dogs can experience is the effects of ingesting conkers. If a dog has swallowed a conker they are likely to experience abdominal discomfort, vomiting and drooling as well as other symptoms. Poisoning is rare but it is possible so try to avoid them.


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Topping up your car levels during the autumn months in preparation for the winter is common practice for car owners but antifreeze is toxic to dogs and they are often lured in by its sweet taste. Stop your dog from drinking water from puddles in areas where cars are parked.

In the same way as humans, dogs can have trouble with their joints and this means that the cold weather can cause them problems. Consider purchasing them a coat and try not to spend too much time outside with them when the weather is especially cold.


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Scruffs® Noodle Dry Mat

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A pet in pain is clearly a situation that is going to distress most pet owners.  However, there are a lot of misconceptions about pain in our pets.

The most misleading of these is that if your pet is in pain it will somehow be obvious, because your pet will be crying out, whining or making some sort of noise.

Generally this is not the case. Animals in extreme pain do sometimes make a noise, a distressed yelp or howl, but this is extreme pain, for example if a cat has a broken leg after a car accident or a dog has a ruptured spinal disc.

Hopefully, this article will give you a few hints on how to detect whether your pet is in pain before it gets too severe.


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The main things to look out for are

• changes in behaviour

• changes in movement 

• changes in eating or drinking




Changes in behaviour

Aggression, irritability, snappiness

Has your pet suddenly become more aggressive? Are they less tolerant of you or other family members – furred and non-furred?

Chronic pain makes us irritable and it is safe to assume that the same is true of our pets. Pets in pain may also be feeling anxious, feel that they cannot get the peace and quiet that they need and feel less able to ‘defend’ themselves against exuberant housemates or visitors. They may also fear being handled or approached, anticipating that such handling is going to touch their sore spot.

All of these worries may manifest as a usually placid pet becoming grumpy or a grumpy one becoming even less approachable.

There are, of course, other reasons as to why a pet may suddenly become more aggressive but in my experience pain is one of the most common reasons, so book an appointment with your vet to see if you can unravel the problem.

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Withdrawl, lack of interest, lack of activity

Pets that are in pain, very sensibly, try to rest and will move as little as possible to minimise pain. Pets with chronic tooth pain, tummy ache, neck or back pain will all be less active. They often spend increasing amounts of time sleeping and less time playing and pestering you for treats, cuddles, walks or games.

Quite often a decline in activity is put down to age but with age comes an increasing likelihood of arthritis, dental problems and chest problems. These are all treatable; don’t let your golden oldies suffer in silence, an older pet can still be a fit and healthy pet.

Sometimes a decline in activity can be difficult to detect, especially in cats that seem to spend a lot of time asleep anyway! You need to look for subtle clues. Does your cat no longer come to greet you when it normally would, has it started using an indoor litter tray, does it sleep in a different spot?
A lack of activity is one of the few ways to spot pain in rabbits and guinea pigs. Being prey species these animals try to hide symptoms of illness. To detect a change in activity it is essential that your pets have access to an appropriately sized ( height and length) run. It is impossible to spot a change in activity in a pet that spends every day in a hutch.

Don’t be misled by the fact that your dog is still happy to go on its walks. Dogs like their routine, they like being part of the pack and walks are very distracting. So if they are suffering chronic pain, for example from bad teeth or arthritis they will still bounce around and look excited.

They may take the walk a little more slowly or be less inclined to play with doggy friends – or unexpectedly tell them off.  These are the subtle signs you need to look out for that will tell you that your dog may be in pain.


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Changes In Movement

It is usually quite obvious if your pet is limping. unfortunately, a lot of people think that because their pet is not crying or howling ‘they're not in pain.’

If your pet is limping, in the vast majority of cases it will be because that leg is painful. He doesn’t want to put any weight on it.  Quite often dogs and cats with broken limbs make the minimum of fuss when examined. This is not because they are not experiencing pain.

Some pets are very stoical, or sometimes they are trying to hide their symptoms because they don’t want to show any sign of vulnerability in front of a stranger; maybe you been exasperated by a cat that’s been limping for days that walks normally in the surgery and jumps on and off the table as if to show you up? Think of soldiers in battle that are wounded but carry on fighting. In the surgery your pet is suddenly more concerned about the different smells and different people, their pain suddenly becomes less significant.
Less obvious is a change in the way your pet moves. Some conditions affect more than one leg, and some conditions move from one leg to another. Any change in gait can be a sign that your pet has painful limbs, joints or spine.

If your pet cannot do the things that last week it seemed to do easily – go upstairs, jump in the car, jump on or off the bed or on or off the worksurfaces then it is likely to have pain somewhere. Joint and muscle problems are very common and usually easily treated so make an appointment to see your vet.

small pets

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Changes in Eating / Drinking

Because eating is such an essential function it takes a lot to put an animal off its food. Animals that feel sick, nauseous or are running a temperature don’t feel hungry so they don’t eat. Animals that have toothache still feel hungry, they find a way of working around the pain.  Very often when the teeth are cleaned up and the pets more kissable, owners remark how much more lively and engaged their pets are.

Cats will not eat if they have an infected mouth or severely infected gums.  Both of these conditions could be put into the extreme pain category and need to be treated urgently.

Any rabbit or guinea pig that is not eating – even for a morning, needs to be regarded as potentially having a serious problem.

A slow decline in the amount being eaten is a sign of mouth pain, often due to overgrown teeth.

Unexplained shaking or trembling can be a sign of pain – it often turns out to be colic or gut pain.

Occassionally excessive panting can be a sign of pain but, generally,  animals in pain won't pant because it involves a lot of body movement.

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If you suspect your pet is in pain don’t panic, have a chat with your vet.


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