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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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    Can People Catch Diseases from Animals? Part 3

    In this final part of our series on zoonotic infections, we’re going to look at rarer or emerging zoonoses – those where the zoonotic risk is perhaps less well known.
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