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Are pets good for my mental health?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week - and it’s such an important conversation to be part of, because mental health problems are, sadly, very common. In fact, about 1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer a mental health problem in any one year. The most common specific problems are anxiety and depression, but there are of course many, many more. Mental health problems can tear a person apart from the inside. They can cause relationships with families and friends to break down, lead to self harm or suicide, or even exacerbate physical ailments such as heart problems. However, in recent years, there has been a great deal of research on whether pets and companion animals can help prevent, or even manage, mental health problems.
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Why is my dog eating grass?

Dogs may eat grass for a variety of reasons. For many dogs it’s considered entirely normal for them to eat a small amount of grass - in fact around 70% of dogs were found to eat grass in one study, and it was also found to be much more common in younger dogs. Some dogs, however, take grass-eating to an extreme and this could be a hint of something wrong.
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The sinister side of spring flowers

Springtime is a welcome sight for most Brits. We can put the winter behind us and it brings warmth and colour back into our gardens and homes. It’s also mostly good news for our pets as they’re hopefully able to enjoy more quality time outdoors. Many owners are aware of the dangers of spring treats such as chocolate easter eggs, or raisin filled hot cross buns, but dangers lurking in the form of plants and flowers are often unrecognised. We spend 2 billion pounds a year on cut flowers and indoor plants, with Mothering Sunday and Easter being at the pinnacle and the heart of spring. While lots of plants and flowers are safe, it’s important to be aware of those that are not.
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My cat is squatting repeatedly… what can I do?

My cat is squatting repeatedly in his litter tray as though he's trying to urinate, but he doesn’t seem able to go. What can I do?

Right, this one is serious - see a vet as an emergency. Cystitis in people is often an unpleasant stinging sensation when they urinate, but in a male cat it can be life-threatening.  

Cystitis? Really? How?

Cystitis simply means inflammation of the bladder. The lining of the bladder becomes inflamed and painful, but in cats the urethra sometimes gets blocked as well.
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Should we feed Rudolf carrots?

An important question for 24th December maybe. A serious question too, as reindeer have become popular to keep for Christmas displays in the UK; looking after them, however, can be problematic... 
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