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Keeping your pets active in winter

Keeping your pets active in winter

It can be hard to get out of your warm bed or off the cosy couch on a winter’s morning for exercise, and your pet can feel the same way too!

It’s important to continue exercising your pet in winter, as well as keeping them mentally stimulated. Being cooped up inside can encourage destructive and other negative behaviours. On a fine day, walks, runs, catching up with friends and play sessions in the park are perfect ways to keep your pet active. Depending on your pet’s personality and coat, you may be able to exercise in light rain with a dry-off after.
If this is not possible, here are some inside and weather-proof activity ideas you and your pet can enjoy:

  • If your pet has healthy joints, walking up and down a set of stairs is a great work out!
  • Tug-o’-war and fetch with toys.
  • Practise some agility with furniture in your house. You can set up a mini obstacle course using chairs and other items.
  • Carefully try out a treadmill. Some pets really enjoy walking and running on a treadmill indoors.
  • Bring a branch in from outside for your cat to sniff and scratch. The different smells and textures will be exciting and enriching.
  • Ask us or search your local area for indoor training, doggy day-care or agility classes.
  • Go for a drive and visit a friend. If your pet enjoys car trips, restrain them safely and hit the road.
  • Playing hide and seek will have your furry friend moving around the house & keep their minds active.
  • Gift your kitty a box. A shoebox or appliance box makes an awesome playhouse and will keep them entertained for hours. For extra fun, cut some small holes in the box to create poke holes or windows.
  • Playing games.
  • Learning new tricks and commands.
  • Practice some nose works. Hide healthy treats around the house for your pet to sniff out.
  • Offer new toys and rotate old toys – your pet will appreciate having ‘new and different’ toys.
  • Offer your pet a puzzle, such as a Kong with treats inside or a snuffle mat.
  • Cat TV! Did you know YouTube has entire channels dedicated to entertaining your cat, with long videos of bird feeders, aquariums and other cat-captivating things? (Just make sure they don’t try to pounce at the TV).

Be careful!
There can be plenty of hazards to watch out for when your pet is exercising and playing indoors or outdoors:

  • Watch out for heaters and fires! Your pet could end up with a nasty burn if they get too close
  • Be careful your pet doesn’t over-heat while exercising indoors. Move to a cooler room or turn down the heater or air conditioning
  • Outdoor surfaces can be cold and slippery for you and your pet. Consider your pet’s paws – if it’s too cold for your bare feet, it’s too cold for theirs too! Stick to walking on softer and warmer surfaces (like grass instead of concrete) or consider purchasing some fashionable and functional booties.

Make sure to dry your pet’s paws off after a walk outdoors if it is damp. Wet paws can dry slowly in the cooler months, allowing bacteria to grow, causing skin problems and stinky feet!

Dental disease and prevention

Dental disease and prevention

Dental disease is one of the most common but preventable diseases in pets. It is not only painful and uncomfortable, but the procedure to clean and remove teeth becomes more complicated and often more costly the longer it is left untreated.

What is dental disease?

Dental disease is caused by a bacterial infection that builds up in a substance called plaque. Plaque is made up of food particles and saliva. It sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line and if not removed, will calcify into tartar (or calculus). Over time the bacterial infection in tartar causes irreversible changes to occur. These include the destruction of supportive tissues and bone, resulting in red gums bad breath and loosening of teeth.

How do I prevent dental disease?

Good oral hygiene is the most effective way of preventing dental disease. This can involve dental chews, teeth brushing or a special dental diet. During your dental or regular health check-up, our team will be able to offer recommendations on how to keep your pet’s pearly whites shining.

How do I know my pet has dental disease?

  • Common signs of dental disease include:
  • Bad breath
  • Painful mouth
  • Reduced appetite
  • Bleeding or receding gums
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty chewing

It is important to keep an eye on your pet’s teeth, and gums, as dental disease can progress rapidly if left untreated.

What happens if my pet has dental disease?

If your pet develops dental disease, our team will be able to discuss the most appropriate treatment options with you. This may involve teeth cleaning or removal.

 

If your pet is showing any signs of dental disease or has never had a dental check-up before, book an appointment with one of our vets by clicking the button below.

Keeping your indoor cat happy

Keeping your indoor cat happy

Keeping your cat entertained in your home can become a full-time job. That is why we have put together some tips to keep your indoor cat happy and engaged;

  • Create a high area for your cat to perch
    Getting up high is an important way to relieve stress in the feline world. It is therefore essential to have accessible and safe high up resting places.
  • Play with your cat
    Our cats are natural hunters and therefore like to engage in short bursts of playful energy. Toys are a great way to interact with our cats during this time. Talk to us to find out our toy recommendations.
  • Purchase safe self-play toys
    As much as we would love to spend 24/7 with our cat, we do often need to leave them alone. Self-play toys are an excellent way for your cat to keep themselves entertained while you are out.
  • Scratching posts
    Scratching posts are essential to a cat household. Not only does it protect your furniture from becoming a victim, but they can be extremely stimulating and satisfying for your cat.
  • Cat runs
    If your home allows for it, consider investing in a cat run. This will allow your cat to get fresh air while still staying safe from the outside world.

For more information and tips on how to keep your indoor cat entertained, contact us on (02) 9953 1090 or book online.

Easter hazards

Easter hazards

Easter can be an exciting time for both adults and children. While we prepare for Easter, it is essential to keep an eye on potential dangers for your furry friend.

Chocolate

Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine (a chemical compound found in the cacao plant) which can be fatal to our pets. It is important to keep chocolate out of reach this Easter. If you are hiding chocolate eggs, keep your pets in a safe location away from the hunt and keep a record of where you have hidden the eggs.

If you do suspect your pet may have eaten some chocolate, call us straight away as symptoms can take up to three hours to show.

Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhoea,
  • Increased urination,
  • Restlessness,
  • Hyperactivity,
  • Twitching,
  • And in severe cases, seizures.

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns are another treat to keep out of range of our furry friends. Some hot cross buns contain chocolate which, can be fatal to our pets. They can also contain raisins. Raisins, grapes, sultanas and currants have been shown to cause acute kidney failure in dogs. The exact reason is still not identified; therefore, we cannot determine how much is toxic or which pets are going to be affected. Some pets can eat a few grapes with no ill effects, whereas others may become severely ill with the same amount.

It is always better to be on the safe side, if you do suspect your pet has eaten any, please call us straight away.

Initial signs can include:

  • Vomiting,
  • Or diarrhoea.

Noises and crowds

New visitors, noises and smells can sometimes cause anxiety for your pet. To help minimise your pet’s stress;

  • Create a calm, quiet spot for your pet away from the noise.
  • Exercise your pet before any guests arrive.

Decorations

Small and cute Easter decorations could become choking hazards for your pet, or, if broken, can cause cuts to their mouths. Ensure all decorations are out of your pet’s reach or too big for them to fit in their mouths. If your pet has swallowed or eaten any decorations, please call our team.

Flowers

Some flowers are toxic to our pets, if you are decorating with flowers or receive them as gifts, place them in a location your pet can’t get to. Some flowers and plants to look out for include:

If your pet has nibbled on any of your flowers, please take a photo of the flower and call our team.

For more Easter tips, please call (02) 9953 1090 or book an appointment online! We hope you enjoy a lovely long weekend.

Help us keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Please do not visit if you have:
  • Fever or symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)
  • Returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • Been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
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