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Does My Pet Need A Spring Health Check?

Springtime brings the opportunity of checking your pet’s health and adjusting all that binging and ‘special treats’ consumed over Christmas and Easter, and especially Winter due to reduced dog walking and cats resting more indoors during the colder, longer days.

A visit to your local vet is highly recommended to use their free weigh-in service and check how your pet is doing. They will have general weight guides available for you to compare your pet’s weight against your pet’s average breed and you can then adjust the diet as necessary.

Checking your pet’s weight is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy. This can mean reducing food for a period of time, a small reduction in daily portions can help enormously to correct any winter indulgence as experienced pet owners know.

Spring also brings the opportunity to consider the menu you are providing your pet and whether there’s some room for a need for change in choices of daily meals.

New pet owners are strongly recommended to consult with their vet before making any changes.

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Should I Give My Pet Treats?

Some vets believe pet treats should be no more than 10% of the total daily pet diet and there’s no need to buy the high street snacks, high in sugar, fats and often preservatives. 

Treats come in all shapes and sizes and in a huge variety of foods. From special dog crisps and popcorn to venison slice for cats, even specially made cabor (chocolate-like) pet easter eggs hit our pet stores so that pets can join in the festivities.

One of the best-balanced selections available online at from Not In The Dog House with nearly 200 hundred different types of treats available for dogs and cats.

Of course, it’s the owners at fault for wanting our pets to enjoy their lives to the maximum but we may be doing more harm than good. Offering some safe and healthy vegetables to dogs is not a major problem, high in minerals and low in calories and keeps them chewing on them for some time whilst avoiding giving pets hard items such as bones which can damage teeth and also splinter, hurting their mouth and cause bleeding. 

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Pets Going Vegetarian?

Meat-Free Monday was introduced globally and highlighted in 2009 by Sir Paul McCartney after a United Nations report on Climate Change, a report aimed to help our planet and environment by reducing the carbon footprint associated with eating meat by humans. See and listen more to his video in our Video Store. 

Whilst designed for humans to take up the challenge, pet food manufacturers are very aware of the public demands for more choice, ‘going green’ and being environmentally aware including vegetarian meals as part, but not wholly, of their pets’ balanced diet. Most good pet food brands are now developing their own ranges with constant pet food launches announced every month.

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Do Pets Need Extra Food During Winter?

Winter months see our pets suffering from the effects of cold weather, dogs and cats preferring to curl up keeping warm at home in favour of long dog walks and cats out nightly on their hunting expeditions. When snow and ice arrives, and the temperature plummets this is the time that pets seem more content to snuggle up and eat more, putting on more body fat than in the summer months.

Various veterinary reports suggest that cats need slightly less food during summer months possibly due to the extra energy they need when outside in winter conditions where owners should consider the amounts of food they give to ensure their cat stays healthy with a balanced diet.

Dogs need shorter walks which may become more limited with worse weather conditions and prevents them from suffering coldness and possible hypothermia, short-haired breeds suffering more.

Dogs tend to eat more in winter building up their fat reserves to keep them warm, with dogs kept outside needing substantially more food to keep them warm in colder conditions.

Obesity is a major problem with our pets, where it’s reported that levels are possibly as high as 65% now in dogs classed as obese. (Reference Vet Journals, BMJ). It’s important to counteract overfeeding with reducing diets as soon as temperatures increase and your pet, both dogs and cats, are more active taking more exercise.If unsure about your pets weight and food requirements, chat online with a Vet Call or see your local vet. Veterinary practices offer free weigh-in services if in any doubt about your pet’s weight.

Dog surrounded by Pumpkins

During the winter months, we eat vegetables that dogs can eat that are healthy and safe. Broccoli stalks, green beans and carrots. Pumpkin is another food classed as a fruit where the flesh can be eaten by your pet dog. Cut up large harder pieces of broccoli and carrots for smaller dogs to help them digest more easily and not hurt their teeth. Eating these foods may help with keeping your pets within diets.

Small girl with a rabbit in a hutch

Rabbits need care when living outside in hutches, which must be waterproof and moved out of direct winds. Extra covers put over the hutch for insulation, allowing a little air circulation and ensure they have more quality bedding hay to be able to snuggle into to keep warm. They too eat more quality hay and pellets to help them keep stable during the cold months and need continual freshwater checks that their supply hasn’t frozen over. Rabbits can suffer from depression if left on their own without contact and are far better living with a mate.

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Are Chinese Takeaways OK For My Dog To Eat?

We love our takeaway meals and that includes a good Chinese meal, now the second most popular takeaway meal consumed in the UK.

Human food is generally not good for our pets and that sadly includes Chinese takeaways which despite being made with many vegetables are unsuitable for dogs and pets due to their very riches sauces particular high in salt and soy. Vets highly recommend you don’t feed your pet this diet.

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Christmas Pet Food

Pets love Christmas, they love to forage among the wrapped presents stacked under the Christmas tree, sniffing out the gorgeous handmade chocolates or special nuts you meticulously searched for your friends and relatives. Pets get so excited by the new smells and aromas, that they’ll stop at nothing, furiously tearing open the packaging and before can catch them, they’ve eaten your edible gifts.

Within a short space of time pets will be showing the first signs of eating foods that completely disagree with them and can in some cases, cause severe poisoning, and even death. Vets call it ’emergency month’ as they see a huge rise of mischievous pets through their doors with their owners apologising for their naughty pets who are now very ill.

We’ve put together a special Christmas page dedicated to our VIP Very Important Pets as so many owners like to include their pets in festive celebrations. Feeding pets human foods can cause many problems. Our guide highlights the best and worst of Christmas foods that dogs, cats, and rabbits can and can’t enjoy along with the plants and decorations that we bring into our homes over Christmas that can be poisonous. Take a few minutes to check out and enjoy a trouble-free pet Christmas!

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