Neutering puppies and kittens

Did you know…neutering can have significant healthcare benefits for your pet? Here are just a few of them…

Kittens

It is usual for male kittens to be castrated from around four months of age before they start developing habits such as urine marking around the house. Female kittens come into heat every three weeks and become pregnant very easily. Therefore, we advise spaying from around four months of age.

Puppies

We usually recommend female dogs are spayed before their first season at six months of age, except for certain larger breeds; in which case we recommend before their second season. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, early spaying has been proven to result in a huge reduction in the occurrence of mammary tumours in older female dogs. It also prevents life-threatening uterus infections. This protection is dramatically reduced after the second season.

We usually start talking about castration for male dogs from six months of age, before they start to develop male traits, such as roaming and urine marking. This also reduces the risk of developing prostate problems, anal tumours, and testicular cancer. Having them castrated at a young age may also reduce the risk of them being stolen for breeding.

If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with us. We’ll talk through the options and discuss what’s best for your pet, considering their age and breed.

You may also be interested to know that as part of our Pet Health Plan, there’s a 10% discount on neutering included. Click here to find out more.

The importance of parasite prevention

Parasite prevention is an integral part of taking good care of your cat or dog. Parasites also pose a threat to human health, as some pet parasites cause zoonotic infections, which means they can be transferred from pets to people.

Where and when can my pet get infected by parasites?

Dogs and cats can get parasites in a variety of places — whether they go outside or not. Fleas and ticks can live outside year-round but are most abundant during spring and autumn. Other animals can bring parasites into your home, and once fleas get in the house, they can be a year-round problem.

How can I protect my pet from parasites?

Because parasites can be found all year long, it is important that your pet is always protected. We offer a series of popular prescription products that are easy to use and will help to protect your pet.

You can receive year-round parasite protection through our Pet Health Plan. The plan spreads your regular pet care costs with a fixed monthly fee which guarantees an annual saving on your preventative veterinary treatments.

Dangers of parasites

The harm from parasites to a pet’s health can range from minor irritation to severe conditions that can be fatal. Below are some common parasites found in the United Kingdom:

  • Ticks – Tick bites can cause allergic reactions or infections at the site of the bite. They can transmit infectious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Babesia & Ehrlichiosis.
  • Worms – There is a wide variety of worms, such as tapeworm, roundworm, heartworm, whipworm, and hookworm. These are common parasites in the UK and can affect your pet’s health. They also carry a human health risk, especially for children.
  • Lungworms – Lungworms are potentially deadly parasites that are carried by foxes, slugs, and snails. It is the first fatal parasite to be endemic in the UK.
  • Fleas – Fleas affect dogs and cats and can be seen all year round. They can also pass on tapeworms. Signs that your pet may be suffering from fleas include itching, scratching, and licking. You may also see ‘flea dirt’ – tiny dark specks that look a little like grains of soil and go red when wet. It is possible to see fleas with the naked eye!

With advances in veterinary medicine, most parasitic infections can be prevented with routine preventative care.

Alongside preventative treatments, it is also important to practice good personal hygiene, including washing hands after handling pets and before eating food. Grooming animals regularly helps to reduce the risk of coat contamination, and when going on walks, cleaning up pet faeces is vital as most intestinal worms are transmitted by worm eggs or larvae in faeces.

It is important to remember that parasite treatments are only to be given to the pet they have been prescribed for, as certain products can be fatal to other species. If you are unsure which parasite control products are the best for your pet, speak to one of our team members for advice.

May and Spring Bank Holiday opening hours

With two welcomed bank holiday weekends in May, we wanted to let you know that our opening hours may vary from our usual times. Please see below:

May Bank Holiday – Monday 3rd May

St Boswells – 08.30 – 18.00
Jedburgh –
Closed

Spring Bank Holiday – Monday 31st May

St Boswells – 08.30 – 18.00
Jedburgh –
Closed

Out of Hours service will be available for emergencies by calling 01835 823257 as usual.

Rabbit space requirements

When purchasing your pet rabbit, it is important to carefully consider the amount of space they require. The SSPCA advises the below as a minimum space requirement for two average-sized rabbits.

Of course, if you can provide more space, that is even better for your rabbit’s welfare.

 

 

Top tips:

  • It is important to note that space must be across a single level, therefore raised hutches within the space will not count towards the minimum space requirement.
  • If you can provide free-range space that is even better, but please ensure roaming is supervised.
  • The minimum height requirement is 1m
  • The main thing to remember is, the bigger the space, the more room they will have to exercise and keep in shape!

How do you show your pet affection?

Showing your pet that you love and care for them doesn’t have to be complicated. We have pulled together some simple ideas of ways to show your pet that you love them.

Keep active together
Exercise not only benefits your physical and mental wellbeing but your pet’s too. Spend quality time together by taking your dog on long walks, varying the route each day.

Why not combine your dog walk with a run? Couch to 5k is a great initiative, and introduces exercise into your life, and keeps your pet fit and active, by introducing interval training. Whilst out on walks, you could also encourage catch and fetch games to keep your pet engaged and active.

At home, you could build a mini obstacle or agility course using household items such as large boxes, laundry baskets, cones, and cushions. You should incorporate chase toys into your cat’s routine to keep them active.

Teach them new skills
To keep your pet’s mind active teach them new skills. Not only will these break up the day, but tricks also keep their mind sharp too.

Show physical affection
Throughout the day ensure you include lots of belly rubs, ear scratching, and stroking.

For cats, stroke them from the top of their heads down to the tail and encourage them to sit on your lap whilst you stroke them.

Grooming
We all love being pampered as it makes us feel good. Take time to groom your pet and make a fuss over them. This time is great for reinforcing the bond between the two of you. You can also use this time to check for any issues or injuries.

Could you treat them?
Reinforce positive behaviour with a healthy treat. If your pet has mastered a new trick, reward them, but take note to ensure this comes from their daily food allowance.

Are any of their toys looking used or worn? If so, invest in some new toys to stimulate your pet, but ensure to rotate toys to keep your pet engaged.

There are many ways to show your pet that you love them, and just by implementing some of the suggestions above, your pet will thrive from the love and attention that they receive.

Pet Passports no longer valid from 1 January 2021

You can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

Instead, pets travelling from Great Britain to an EU country or Northern Ireland will need an Animal Health Certificate (up to five pets on one certificate).

Your pet must:

  • Have a functioning microchip
  • Have a rabies vaccination at least 21 days before travel
  • Enter the EU via a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry
  • Have an Animal Health Certificate written in the official language of the country they will enter the EU unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland
  • Dogs travelling directly to Finland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland or Malta must be treated for tapeworm no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before you arrive

The Animal Health certificate is:

  • Valid for ten days from the date of issue
  • Valid for a single trip into the EU
  • Valid for onward travel within the EU for four months or until the date of expiry of the validity of the rabies vaccination whichever is sooner
  • Valid for re-entry to Great Britain for four months after the date of issue provided rabies vaccination is kept up to date

We suggest that you discuss your travel plans with your vet at least one month before your intended travel plans to ensure your pet is prepared for travel.

Please contact us to advise on the steps required to ensure your pet is prepared for travel and ensure you have the required appointments booked for your pet.

For the most up to date information, visit the government website by clicking here