Lawn Vets Swindon – 3 Top Tips on Dog Feeding

Check Out Our 3 Top Tips on Feeding Your Dog – By The Team Here At Lawn Vets Swindon

Lawn Vets Swindon – 3 Top Tips on Feeding Your DogFeed your dog the right food

The right food and diet is vital to keep your dog fit and healthy.

Poor nutrition is responsible for a remarkably high percentage of the health problems we see in dogs – in fact in most pets.

They include vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, obesity, dental problems, growth deformities, and heart, kidney and skin problems.
The list goes on and on!


Tip 1 – Commercial brand dog food – or home made?

To start with, it’s always best to choose a good commercial brand. Commercial pet food is generally very good and well balanced, with all the right minerals and vitamins.

It’s far healthier than the equivalent for us humans!

By comparison, home-made diets for pets are rarely nutritionally balanced or complete. They’re also more difficult and time-consuming to prepare – and they are usually expensive (if they are well balanced).


Tip 2 – Dry dog food or tins?

Dry food is more cost effective and also helps to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. Tinned food has much higher water content, which means that your dog will need to eat more to feel full.

However some dogs find tinned food easier to digest – or simply prefer it. If your dog is a fussy feeder, or has digestive problems, tinned or a mix of the two may be the best option. We will discuss exactly what’s best for your dog, at your next review.

Tip 3 – Which brand of dog food?

There are several good brand pet foods available. If your dog has no specific requirements, all the main brands available in your supermarket will be fine, although specialist brands are even better.

We will always recommend the one we think is best for your individual pet.

The key point is to choose a high quality dog or puppy food which is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of your dog’s particular stage in life. Growth stage for puppies, Adult stage for adult dogs – and Senior stage once your dog reaches 8 years old.

Of course, this is just a general guide and every dog is different –so please do book an appointment to discuss your dog’s special requirements with us – Just Call Us On 01793 644422.

Our team of vets and nurses here at Lawn Vets in Swindon is always available to give great healthcare advice for you and your pet.

To find out more about us, please do check out our Meet The Team page.

Lawn Vets Swindon – Wise Vets For Special Pets

Lawn Vets Advice – Vaccinations for Rabbits

5 Key Questions On Vaccinating Your Rabbits Answered By Lawn Vets Swindon

Rabbit We are great believers in pro-active healthcare and preventative medicine. 

For rabbits, as for all animals, vaccination is the no 1 top priority starting point.

1 – What Does Vaccination Protect My Rabbits Against?

Routine vaccination for rabbits provides protection against 2 life-threatening diseases which can be caught from unprotected rabbits and most commonly, from the general environment.

Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease – VHD – are the bad guys.

Myxomatosis is carried by wild rabbits and is transferred to domestic rabbits by fleas as well as infected rabbits. VHD is very infectious and can be caught from animals, insects and people as well as in the environment – even on the wind! It can cause very sudden death.

Both are really nasty, painful diseases, they are fatal and we still see unvaccinated rabbits succumbing to them. The heart-breaking fact is that they can so easily be prevented!

Please, just don’t let your pet rabbits die of these avoidable diseases.

2 – What Age Should My Rabbits Be Vaccinated?

Your rabbits should be vaccinated for Myxi at 6 weeks old and for VHD at 10 weeks.

There must be at least 2 weeks between the 2 vaccinations.

3 – What About Annual Boosters?

Once your rabbits have had their initial vaccination course, it is really important for them to have an annual booster vaccination, for the rest of their lives. For Myxi we recommend every 6 months.

It’s obviously just as vital to make sure they keep up their immunity, as older animals can succumb to these killer diseases just the same as babies.

In fact they are especially important for older animals. Elderly pets, like elderly people, are more likely to have a poor immune system.

4 – Do you live in the countryside?

In rural areas the risk of catching Myxomatosis is much greater, so it is essential to have boosters every 6 months.

Please do discuss this with one of our vets or vet nurses if you’re not sure what’s best for your rabbits.

5 – How Do I Know If My New Rabbit Has Been Vaccinated?

Your rabbit should have a vaccination card, with a full record. If you get an older rabbit and it doesn’t have a card, then he or she almost certainly isn’t up to date with his or her vaccinations.

So always keep your rabbits’ vaccination cards somewhere safe.

If your pet rabbits aren’t up to date with their vaccinations, please do Call Us on 01793 644 422.

To find out more about all we offer here in Swindon, please do visit our Lawn Vets Services page.

Lawn Vets – Wise Vets For Special Pets

Lawn Vets’ School For Cats

Now, you might think the whole idea of “training” a cat is a joke!

Cat TrainingCats are very independent of course, but training is still not just possible, it’s essential.

A well-behaved cat is lovely to have around your house as part of your family. A difficult one is such a nuisance!

“Socialising” your new kitten

To ensure good behaviour throughout its life, your kitten’s training should start as early as possible. Socialised just means getting used to day to day life.

The first seven weeks of every cat’s life is a very special time, in which they can absorb many new experiences without fear. So the more they can be exposed to at an early age, the less likely they are to become scared and stressed later on in life!

So, allow your young kitten to interact with adults, children, cats and other pets – and let them experience a wide range of household noises, appliances, the countryside, the town, and so on.

For example; a kitten may initially be frightened of the sound of a hair dryer. Just carefully introduce this sound – and repeat it regularly – as he or she gets used to it, your kitten will become less afraid.

This is another of the reasons it’s so important to vaccinate your kitten as early as possible. It allows you to let them get used to the company of other animals, and the outdoors generally, while they are young, without worrying about those serious and avoidable diseases.

The last thing you want is a cat which is either aggressive or very timid, due to fear. So the earlier you start getting your kitten used to life, the better.

You will be doing the cat he or she will grow into, such a favour.

Handling and grooming your kitten

This is exactly the same – the very best thing for your kitten is to get him or her used to being handled and groomed early on.

It’s especially important to start regular grooming as early as possible, particularly with long haired cats. If you do, most of them really enjoy it.

Start handling your kitten as much as possible – e.g. opening his mouth and touching her feet.  She or he will then regard this as completely normal, making your life a lot easier and safer!

Litter training

Cats are generally very clean animals and kittens quickly learn to use a litter tray.

If you get an adult, they will usually have already been litter trained. All you need to do is ensure that the tray is kept clean and is in a quiet area in the house.

Your cat doesn’t want their toilet to be next to a busy walkway in the house or near their food, any more than you do.

Toys

Kittens often don’t play with the nice expensive toys that you buy for them – and are more likely to enjoy batting ping-pong balls around the room and hiding in cardboard boxes.

Don‘t be tempted to use your hands or feet for kittens to pounce on, as this can lead to difficult behavioural problems later on in their life.

Please do talk to us if you have any concerns about your cat’s behaviour or would like some help and ideas with training – just Call us to book an appointment or a healthcare review.

Lawn Vets – Wise Vets For Special Pets

Travel The World With Your Dog

Do you want to travel the world with your dog?

Travel With your DogOr maybe, just take him or her on holiday with you.

Your dog will need a passport of course, just like you, but there’s more to it than that.

Here’s what you need to know –

EU Countries

These days the rules on dogs travelling to and from EU countries is much more relaxed. And it changed again in 2012 to cover some other countries.

Your dog’s passport will allow him or her into most EU countries – and most importantly, back into the UK afterwards.

What Does My Dog Need to Get A Passport?

To get one, your dog must be micro chipped, as well as vaccinated against rabies.

Your puppy must be 3 months old before we can vaccinate for rabies – and the vaccination needs to be at least 21 days before your dog travels.

Your dog will also need to be up to date with his or her worming.

Are There Any Other Diseases to Consider Apart From Rabies?

Yes! Do remember that the rules on passports are all designed to prevent rabies coming to the UK, not about protecting your precious dog.

There are several serious diseases which are common in Europe, so please do talk to your vet  well before you go abroad and we can recommend the right preventative treatments for the places you are travelling to.

For example, before 2012 there were also compulsory tick treatments before coming back into the UK – while these are not compulsory any longer, we strongly recommend them.

Countries Outside the EU

For some countries outside the EU, your dog will need extra tests, such as a blood test. This applies to dogs returning to the UK from China, India and South Africa.

The rules on which countries are including change quite often, so please do check with your vet first.

Quarantine

Quarantine still exists!

If your dog does not have a valid passport or does not have the right tests and treatments recorded in the documents for the country he or she is travelling from, they will have to go into quarantine – often for 6 months – when they come back into the UK.

Some other countries have their own quarantine rules too.

Planning your trip

Please do talk to your vet as early as possible if you are planning to take your dog abroad.

While it is much easier than it used to be, the rules and timescales are very strict and it’s just not possible to take your dog at the last minute, if you don’t already have all the vaccinations and paperwork in place.

So please do Call Us to discuss your travel plans and arrange the right vaccinations and to get a Passport.

Lawn Vets – Wise Vets for Special Pets