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Getting ready for winter walkies

The nights are drawing in now, and I’m quite enjoying the sunset being a little earlier- it means I’m more likely to see it whilst I go about my evening chores. My little dog, Pixie, is certainly enjoying the cooler weather as it means more (and longer!) walks without worrying about heatstroke. The winter weather, when it arrives, will come as a shock to her, though, and I’m not sure how she’ll feel about the early darkness- she’s a bit of a wuss! For those dogs of a stronger constitution, going out for winter walks in the dark and cold can be great fun. But it’s important to remember to tog up warm and keep safe.
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Autumn Hazards

As autumn arrives, the nights draw in and the weather changes. New hazards to our pets emerge for us to be aware of. Here are my top ten autumn dangers...
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Why is my cat’s fur falling out?

Hair loss in cats is almost always due to excessive grooming from itchiness (pruritus). They often do this in secret so may not be seen. In the UK, fleas are the most common cause of this over-grooming. The general veterinary approach to skin disease: fleas are the culprits until proven otherwise.
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Why shouldn’t I use a human shampoo on my dog?

There are a number of reasons why you may need to wash your dog. They may have graced your house with a fragrant roll in fox or badger poo, you may find that your own allergies reduce with regular dog baths, or the dog may have a skin disease requiring medicated shampoo as treatment. There is now a massive range of dog shampoos, but surely a human shampoo, or even soap or washing up liquid would be just as effective?
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Why is my cat meowing?

Research has found some 19 different vocal patterns in cats, with individuals adding personal sounds only used with their owners. Most sounds fall into three groups: closed mouth greeting (purr or chirrup), fixed open mouth emotional sounds (hissing, growling or spitting), and open then closed mouth ‘meow’, which cats change depending on the circumstance. Kittens meow to communicate hunger, cold or fear to their mum. Adults communicate with each other by hissing, growling and using body language and scent. An exception is the ‘yowl’ (similar to a meow but more drawn out and melodic). Adult cats yowl at each other specifically during breeding season. Meowing in adults is usually reserved for communicating with humans.
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