Heat awareness for animals in hutches

We all enjoy getting out in the sunshine; however, it is not always true for our pets! Any animal can overheat in hot weather, and we can often forget how tough it can be on our pets that live in hutches, such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

It can be easy to assume their hutches provide cover from the warm sun, but they can heat up very quickly and become uncomfortable for the animals. And let’s not forget all that fur that they can be carrying too!

Take a look at our 5 top tips below for helping your furry friend stay cool:

  • It is always best to find a shady area in the garden to position their enclosure and any exercise runs, to keep them away from direct sunlight. Extra shade could be created by draping a towel or sheet over part of the run, maintaining a draught of cool air.
  • Create an area for them that is nice and cool to lie on – this could be achieved by placing some ceramic tiles in their hutch/enclosure, however, ensure that these remain in the shade.
  • It is important to remember that your rabbit or guinea pig is likely to drink more on hot days, therefore ensure they have access to fresh, clean water when needed. Keep checking the water throughout the day too so that you can top it up as required, but also so you can notice if anything is wrong (e.g. the bottle spout is blocked).
  • A way to ensure that your pet is getting some added water in their diet is to feed them plenty of leafy green vegetables and safe fruit (such as tomato or cucumber).
  • For those breeds that are long-haired, consider making them feel more comfortable in the heat by removing any excess hair with a brush.

With the above in mind, recognising the main symptoms of heatstroke for rabbits and guinea pigs is important to ensure that you can take action to prevent it, or if it occurs, get them the necessary treatment. Keep an eye out for:

–   Convulsions

–   Salivating

–   Reddening of the ears

–   Panting

–   Weakness and lethargy

If you feel your rabbit or guinea pig is showing any of the above symptoms, then use cool water to dampen their fur and contact us immediately.

 Sources: Blue Cross & PDSA

Vet4Life COVID-19 update 19th July 2021

Vet4life practices are open and here to offer a full range of services for our patients whilst adhering to current COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The Vet4life team are working to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and therefore lead times for appointments may be a little longer than usual. Please bear with us at this time – we will do our best to make your appointment as smooth as possible.

As always, the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients, and staff is our number one priority.

Guidance for attending your appointment:

To keep everyone safe, please help us by:

  • Maintaining social distancing.
  • Wearing a face covering where possible. If this is not possible, please contact us before your appointment so that we can discuss how best to support you and your pet.
  • Sanitising your hands before and after your pet’s appointment
  • Using contactless payment methods wherever possible
  • On arrival, please report to reception where you will be informed of how best to access our services.
  • Be aware that our teams will always be in appropriate PPE.

Thank you for your understanding. Vet4life remains committed to delivering the best care for your pet, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

August Bank Holiday

The August bank holiday weekend is here… whether you are heading to the coast, off on a walking adventure or taking it easy at home this bank holiday, we just wanted to let you that our opening hours may differ, should you need us:

Teddington

Monday:  Closed

Shepperton

Monday:  Closed

Surbiton

Monday:  Closed

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, from all the team at Vet4life.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PRODUCT RECALL

Fold Hill Foods has taken precautionary action to recall several dry cat food diets due to safety concerns. This is a result of a concerning spike detected by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the number of pancytopenia cases in cats throughout the UK.

What should I do?

If you have bought any of the products detailed in the food recall, you should not feed them to your cat. Instead, you should do the following.

  • Check if you have bought the affected products and batch code(s) / «use-by / best before» date(s). You can do this by taking a picture of the notice on the Fold Hill website or writing down the batch code(s) / «use-by / best before» date(s) for reference at home.
  • Return the product(s) to the store for a full refund (with or without a receipt).

What is pancytopenia?

In the blood, there are three types of cells:

  • red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the organs;
  • white blood cells, which fight infection; and
  • platelets, which help with coagulation or blood clotting.

Pancytopenia means that all these cell populations are lower than normal. Depending on the cell populations that are the most affected, different clinical signs can be detected (alone or in combination) but general signs are lethargy, bleeding (eg in urine, nosebleeds) and fever:

  • low red blood cells can cause anaemia, weakness, and lethargy;
  • low white blood cells can cause difficulties in fighting infection and fever; and
  • low platelets can cause bruises and bleeding.

What is the treatment?

Treatment and diagnosis will vary depending on the cause of pancytopenia, but it can be fatal if left untreated.

Product recall information          

The affected products include some of the ranges of AVA, sold exclusively at Pets at Home, Applaws and Sainsbury’s cat food.

For a full list of products and the affected batch numbers issued by the Food Standards Agency, click here.

To read the statement from Fold Hills Food – the facility where these diets are made, click here.

More information can be found on the RVC website, here.

If you have any concerns, please contact us as soon as possible.

We’re all ears when it comes to your rabbit

rabbit

Every year we celebrate Rabbit Awareness Week, a week dedicated to our rabbits. This year is the 15th year of the celebration, where we will be hopping through the years, as we provide you with the best information about how to care for your rabbit and how adapting their care throughout their years will help your bunnies live happily and healthily into their golden years.

From baby bunnies to golden oldies, read below how you can help your rabbit throughout their lifetime, and of course, if you have any questions, please contact us or book your rabbit in for a health check.

To book an appointment online, please click here.

Below we have detailed the five freedoms required by your rabbit to ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

 DIET

  • You should ensure that your rabbit always has access to fresh, clean drinking water
  • When providing food for your rabbit, fresh grass is the preferred choice, but when not available, hay is a good substitute that is available all year round and provides them with the nutrients they require
  • Hay provides lots of long-strand fibre, keeping your rabbit’s gut moving, and is the closest thing to a natural diet. Rabbits would naturally graze all day in the wild, so please ensure your rabbit has an unlimited supply
  • Complete rabbit food is also available but should not be a replacement for hay. Please use these as a nutritional supplement
  • There are many plants that rabbits can safely enjoy, including broccoli, parsley, spring greens, and dandelions. They also love the leaves from an apple or hazel tree. When feeding them plants, you should keep the portion sizes to a minimum
  • Fruits should be counted as a treat for your rabbit as they are high in sugar. Your rabbit may enjoy a grape, slice of apple, slice of orange, or carrots.

To book an appointment online, click here.

 ENVIRONMENT

Providing your rabbit with an ample amount of space to stretch, run, lie down, and binky is very important. Did you know that there are guidelines for minimum space requirements for housing rabbits whether they live inside or out?

The RSPCA advises that rabbits need the below as a minimum space requirement for two average-sized rabbits. But, of course, if you can provide more space, that is even better for your rabbit’s welfare.

A hutch should be permanently attached to a larger run to ensure they can exercise freely, such as rabbit friendly room indoors or a larger secure run outdoors.

It’s recommended it is at least 2m long x 60cm wide x 60 cm tall to house two paired rabbits, which they have access to at all times, so they can move freely and explore as they would if they were a wild rabbit.

 Top tips:

  • It is important to note that the space must be across a single level, so raised hutches within the space will not count towards the minimum space requirement
  • If you can provide free-range space, that is even better, but please ensure roaming is supervised
  • Most importantly, the bigger the space, the more room they will have to exercise and keep in shape!

Rabbits are naturally nervous as they are prey animals, so it is important that their enclosure or housing has a safe spot so that if they feel unsure, they can escape when worried. The sleeping area should contain dust-free straw or other rabbit-friendly bedding. Away from the sleeping area, a dedicated toilet spot should be created for your rabbit. The toileting area should be lined with newspaper, straw, or a paper-based litter that doesn’t expand.

Rabbits also require enrichment in the form of tunnels and platforms so that they can perform normal behaviours that they would in the wild, such as:

  • Running
  • Digging/Burrowing
  • Jumping
  • Hiding somewhere
  • Foraging/Grazing
  • Stretching up on their back legs
  • Lying fully out with their bodies
  • Binkying

Rabbits prefer to find small pieces of food hidden rather than have their food in one bowl.

Foraging ideas:

  • Use a treat ball to feed them
  • Willow tunnels, paper tunnels, or cardboard toilet rolls stuffed with hay and fresh herbs
  • Willow, hazel, apple, and blackthorn branches are tasty treats
  • Make a turf tray – fill a litter tray with turf from a garden centre.

To ensure your rabbit’s set-up is well equipped, we advise that you have the following:

  • Food bowl or puzzle type feeders (feeding balls)
  • Water bowl
  • Litter tray
  • Hay rack
  • Bedding
  • Boredom breakers
  • Suitable base materials (sawdust/straw) or non-slip flooring
  • Hiding places (cardboard boxes/tunnels)

Remember to spot clean your rabbit’s housing once a day – removing soiled materials and un-eaten food. Use a rabbit-safe disinfectant and then carry out a full clean at least once a week.

(Please note that during summer months, we recommend spot cleaning is increased to twice a day due to the risk of flystrike)

To book an appointment online, click here.

HEALTH

As prey animals, rabbits hide pain and illness well. Therefore, it is very important for your rabbit to have a check-up at least once a year to detect any underlying issues or detect and potential problems early on.

To keep your rabbit fit and healthy, we recommend carrying out the following checks at home:

Eyes: Ensure your rabbit’s eyes are clear, shiny, and free from discharge

Ears: Ensure your rabbit’s ears are free from discharge and no mites are present

Mouth: Ensure your rabbit’s mouth is free from drooling and there is no swelling present around the cheek areas

Skin and coat: Ensure your rabbit is appropriately groomed, looking out for any fur that may be matted and bald patches as well as mites. (If matted fur is present, a vet visit would be necessary as rabbit skin is extremely delicate and a home groom may cut the skin)

Nails: Ensure your rabbit’s nails are not overgrowing or curling

Bottom: Ensure your rabbit bottom is free from faeces and urine staining. If faeces are present, these should be gently washed away and the area needs to be dried thoroughly. Rabbits with faeces on their bottoms are more at risk of flystrike

The most common health problems seen in rabbits include:

Dental disease

Rabbit’s teeth continue to erupt throughout their lives. This allows them to grind down course feed substances such as grass and plants in the wild. Many domestic rabbits are fed a mixture of hay and commercially available diets. Commercially available diets are lower in fibre and higher in protein, fat, and energy. This means that rabbits quickly achieve their nutritional requirements, unlike in the wild when they would need to graze all day and forage to meet the same energy intake from food. This can not only lead to obesity and boredom, but it can also lead to dental disease due to lack of wear of the teeth. In addition, less time grinding and a lower intake of indigestible fibre can lead to the formation of molar spurs, which if severe and allowed to progress, can cause tongue and cheek lacerations.

If the front teeth (incisors) are too long, these can be shortened – this is usually performed on a conscious rabbit, but this depends on temperament.

If there is malalignment of the incisors (meaning that they don’t contact each other when closed), then shortening the teeth may provide a temporary fix, but the removal of the affected incisors may be more appropriate to prevent the need for regular burring- this is something your vet would advise you on.

A general anaesthetic will be required to facilitate a thorough examination and treatment if there is spurring (sharp edges) of the back-cheek teeth (molars).

Gut stasis

Gut stasis is a digestive issue where the system slows down or stops. As a result, gas and toxins can build up, and this can prove to be fatal.

Monitoring your rabbit’s food intake and faecal output will help you detect if this is present.

Obesity

Obesity is a huge problem in pet rabbits. Two of the main causes are insufficient exercise and a poor diet of muesli or too many high sugar treats.

Remember that pellets or nuggets should make up ONLY 5% of their overall diet – with hay being 85%! So, only one egg cup twice a day of pelleted feed is required.

Obese rabbits suffer from several health issues, including not being able to clean themselves or reach their bottom to eat their caecotrophs – which puts them at greater risk of flystrike as well as putting extra weight strain on their joints.

Flystrike

Over the spring and summer months, the risk of flystrike increases amongst the rabbit population. Flystrike occurs when a particular type of fly lays its eggs on or around the rear end, which hatch into maggots. These maggots then start to eat the flesh of the rabbit, with often fatal results.

Due to rapid development, the best prevention is keeping your rabbit clean and in good health, feeding them an appropriate diet, carefully checking their bottoms, and applying preventative treatments during the peak season. Please contact us quickly for further help and advice if you have any suspicions.

Typical signs of flystrike include:

  • Not drinking or eating
  • Lethargic and noticeably quiet
  • A strong smell from their living area
  • Digging into a small corner of their living area
  • Open sores or visible maggots on the skin

Diarrhoea

If your rabbit’s faeces are watery or jelly-like, this is very serious in rabbits and can be fatal, especially in elderly or young rabbits. We recommend getting in touch with us immediately if this is the case.

Blood in the urine (haematuria)

If blood is present in the rabbit’s urine, small blood spotting would be noticed. If your rabbit otherwise seems fit and healthy, this could be your rabbit’s diet staining the urine if all the colour is the same. If any straining or difficulty is noticed, or blood spotting, please contact us as soon as possible. We would also suggest taking out bedding materials and placing a white towel or leaving the housing free from materials so you can fully assess the urine colour, consistency and amount.

To book an appointment online, click here.

COMPANIONSHIP

Rabbit’s value companionship over food!

Rabbits are extremely sociable creatures and not having a companion can lead to boredom. Rabbits feel safer with the same species as opposed to a guinea pig. Rabbits that are neutered are more successfully bonded together. Different neutered sexes tend to be the best fit, although some same-sex bondings can occur. We would always recommend that you let a good rescue do the pairing for you, especially if you have not tried to pair up rabbits before – it can be quite a challenge!

NEUTERING

Rabbits are usually neutered around four months of age. Castration involves removing the testes of a male rabbit, and spaying removes the uterus and ovaries of a female. It is worth noting that sperm can reside in the genital tract for up to six weeks, so it’s best to keep your rabbit away from un-neutered females during this time. Rabbits are extremely social creatures; neutering helps pair or bond rabbits, making them much happier.

Rabbit neutering benefits:

  • Eliminates prostatic and testicular cancer
  • Helps owners to litter train rabbits
  • Reduces aggressive behaviours, especially in males
  • Eliminates womb infections in females
  • Eliminates uterine cancer in females
  • No risk of unwanted pregnancies
  • Reduces spraying
  • Promotes successful bonding of rabbits

VACCINATIONS 

We recommend that rabbits are vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD).

Previously this would have been administered through two separate injections; however, our new rabbit vaccine means that your pet can be protected against myxomatosis and both strains of VHD with just a single injection.

Hop to our practice for a rabbit health check and for more information.  

To book an appointment online, click here.

To make an appointment over the phone call your nearest practice on:

Shepperton vets, Vet4Life, discuss the importance of microchipping your pet

Keeping our pets safe is important to all of us as pet owners. They trust us with their care and protection and microchipping can help with keeping them safe. A microchip identifies your pet as belonging to you. It contains a unique reference number that links to your details as an owner, stored on a central database. By scanning this microchip, this data is then accessible for the person scanning your pet.

You may be concerned that microchipping is an intrusive process, but the chip is tiny – the size of a grain of rice – and the procedure takes seconds; it doesn’t require an anaesthetic or sedation. It’s usually inserted under the skin in the scruff of the neck and under the skin around the neck for horses. Once it’s there, you (or your pet) won’t even notice it.

Hopefully, you’ll never need to use the microchip, because your pet will live a safe, happy and long life with you. But there may be circumstances where you’ll be glad it’s there, such as:

If your pet gets lost

It’s easily done – even the most careful of owners are at risk of their pet running away: whether it’s a dog that runs across the open fields; a rabbit that escapes; a horse that bolts; or a cat who gets stuck in a neighbour’s shed. When your pet is found, it will likely be taken to a local vet practice or a charity rescue home. One quick scan of the microchip and a phone call later, your pet is back where they belong – with you!

If your pet is stolen

It’s an unfortunate reality that some pets – especially purebreds with high value – are stolen to order and resold. Without a microchip, you wouldn’t be able to trace them. Databases can also mark your pet as ‘stolen’ so when a practice, kennels or other place scans their microchip they can search to see if they have been reported as lost or stolen.

If your pet is involved in an accident

Outdoor pets, especially cats, are prone to injury, whether that’s fighting with another animal or being involved in an accident. Injured pets found by members of the public are usually taken to a local vet practice who will treat the animal while also trying to track down the owner. If your pet is microchipped and the details are up to date, you’ll be able to get your pet back on the road to recovery. They’ll certainly be glad to see you while they’re licking their wounds!

Things to consider about microchipping

  • It’s a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in England, Wales and Scotland
  • It may also become compulsory for cats in the UK to also be microchipped
  • Microchip details must be kept up to date with new addresses, phone numbers and email addresses
  • It’s illegal for breeders to sell puppies over eight weeks old that are not microchipped and on a registered database

If you want to know more about getting your pet microchipped, get in touch with Vet4Life, Shepperton vets, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. There is also some information available on the government website which you may find useful: www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped

Surbiton Vets, Vet4Life, discuss Kennel cough myths and facts

The very name ‘kennel cough’ suggest that dogs are only at risk of contracting this airborne disease if you put them into boarding kennels, while you go on holiday for example. It’s for this reason that many pet owners don’t get their dog vaccinated, because they don’t see the disease as a risk.

Surbiton Vets, Vet4Life, look at some myths and facts about kennel cough.

MYTH “I don’t put my dog into kennels, so they won’t catch kennel cough”

The correct name for kennel cough is actually acute infectious tracheobronchitis – an infectious cough of the upper airways in dogs. It can be more virulent in boarding kennels, due to the large number of dogs being homed together, which is why it is referred to as kennel cough, but in truth any dog who mixes with other dogs is at risk of contracting the disease.

FACT “The boarding kennel won’t accept my dog without a vaccination”

Boarding kennels have a responsibility to prevent the spread of diseases amongst their furry guests, which is why most insist on proof of kennel cough vaccination. Oral and nasal vaccines take effect with differing timescales, so ensure you talk to your vet about what is right for you and your pet, and ensure you leave sufficient time before checking your dog in at the kennels.

MYTH “My dog can’t catch kennel cough as they’ve been vaccinated”

Much like vaccinations in humans, the kennel cough vaccine doesn’t eliminate the risk completely, but it will significantly reduce the risk of your dog catching the disease and boost their chances of recovery if they do catch it. Similarly, as with all vaccines, the more dogs that are vaccinated, the lower the chance of the disease being spread.

FACT “Kennel cough can spread in multiple ways”

Kennel cough is highly contagious and can be spread through the air – it’s a mixed viral and bacterial disease, so when an infected dog barks or coughs the aerosols produced are infectious. Obviously direct contact is also a risk – e.g. dogs sharing toys or touching noses during play and shared water and food bowls can be a source of contamination too.

MYTH and FACT “My dog is fit and healthy, they’d recover easily if they caught kennel cough”

Puppies and elderly dogs are more at risk of complications and severe illness as a result of kennel cough, but dogs with pre-existing medical conditions, which you may not be aware of, are too. Kennel cough is an unpleasant disease and can often interrupt sleep even when dogs are mildly affected. Many dogs will recover naturally, but if they seem uncomfortable or unwell, please seek veterinary advice. As a responsible pet owner, we would recommend protecting your own dog and therefore help protect others too.

Get in touch to discuss your dog’s kennel cough vaccination or to book an appointment at Vet4Life, Surbiton Vets.

Teddington vets, Vet4Life, warn about grass seed dangers to cats and dogs

Grass seeds are a common problem during the spring and summer months. While your pet explores the outdoors, grass seed can easily brush off the tops of long grass stems onto their bodies. The seeds have pointed ends and are exceptionally sharp, so they become trapped in your pet’s fur and due to their shape they can only travel in one direction. This means they can often penetrate skin or move into ears

If left untreated, grass seeds can cause a variety of problems. These problems range across the spectrum from minor irritation to conditions that require surgery. Grass seeds carry bacteria which can cause an infection if the skin of your pet is affected.

An untreated infection may spread, or the seed can cause severe internal damage as it travels through the body. Unfortunately, if the seed breaches the skin, surgery is often required to find the grass seed, along with the use of antibiotics and antifungals for treatment.

Symptoms

Your pet could experience different symptoms depending on what part of the body is affected. Look out for swelling, hair matting and irritation. Additional signs can include scratching, head shaking or discharge from the eyes or nose. The table below provides more detail on the main symptoms and potential damage caused by grass seeds. The damage really depends on how far they travel and how long they are left.

grass-table

Prevention is the best cure

Try to keep your pet away from long grassy areas since the seeds can catch onto their coat, skin or toes very easily. If you take your pet outdoors for a walk, check their fur for any grass seeds when you get home. The typical areas to check are eyes, ears, nose, armpits and their toes – which is where the seeds often get lodged. Keep long-haired dogs trimmed or clipped and well-groomed, especially around their feet and ears.

If you are concerned that your pet may have picked up a grass seed contact Teddington vets, Vet4Life. The earlier grass seeds are caught, the less damage they can do.

Vets in Surbiton highlight the importance of parasite prevention

Parasite prevention is an integral part of taking good care of your cat or dog. Parasites also pose a threat to human health. Some pet parasites cause zoonotic infections, which means they can be transferred from pets to people.

Where and when can my pet get infected by parasites?

Dogs and cats can get parasites in a variety of places — whether they go outside or not. Other animals can bring parasites into your home. And anytime your pet is out, they are at risk. Fleas and ticks can live outside year-round, but the worst months are spring and autumn. Once fleas get in the house, they are a year-round problem.

How can I protect my pet from parasites?

Because parasites can be found all year long, your pet must always be protected. We offer a series of popular prescription products that are easy to use and will help to protect your pet.

You can receive year-round parasite protection through our Vet4life Family plan. Our Vet4life Family plan spreads your regular pet care costs with a fixed monthly fee which guarantees an annual saving on your preventative veterinary treatments. Contact Vet4Life Vets in Surbiton, Teddington or Shepperton.

Dangers of parasites

The harm from parasites to a pet’s health can range from minor irritation to severe conditions that can be fatal. Here are some common parasites in the United Kingdom:

  • Ticks – Tick bites can cause allergic reactions or infections at the site of the bite. The major risk is that they can transmit infectious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Babesia & Ehrlichiosis.
  • Worms – Worms come in a wide variety such as tapeworm, roundworm, heartworm, whipworm and hookworm. These are common parasites in the UK and can affect our pet’s health and carry a human health risk, especially for children.
  • Lungworms – Lungworms are potentially deadly parasites that foxes, slugs and snails carry. It is the first fatal parasite to be endemic in the UK.
  • Fleas – Fleas affect dogs and cats and can be seen all year round. Signs that your pet may be suffering from fleas include itching, scratching, and licking. You may also see ‘flea dirt’ – tiny dark specks that look a little like grains of soil and go red when wet. Fleas can be seen by the naked eye! Fleas can also pass on tapeworms.

With advances in veterinary medicine, most parasitic infections can be prevented with routine preventative care.

Alongside preventative treatments, it is also important to practice good personal hygiene, including washing hands after handling pets and before eating food. Grooming animals regularly helps to reduce the risk of coat contamination. When going on walks, cleaning up pet faeces is vital because most intestinal worms are transmitted by worm eggs or larvae in faeces.

It is also crucial that parasite treatments are only given to the pet they have been prescribed for, as certain products can be fatal to other species. If you are unsure which parasite control products are the best for your pet, speak to one of our team members for advice at Vet4Life Vets in Surbiton, Teddington or Shepperton.

Shepperton vets report on grass seeds and freshly cut grass hazards

It is the season when issues related to grass seeds are quite common in pets, especially for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors.

Grass seeds can attach anywhere, but they most commonly attach to long fur between the toes and around the ears. The ends are sharp, and so they work their way into the skin and can embed themselves anywhere. Once in, they can cause local problems or may slowly migrate around the body. Grass seeds can also be inhaled or swallowed. A variety of medical issues can occur due to grass seeds, including pain, swellings, infection, head shaking, sneezing and pneumonia. Dogs who have seeds stuck inside their paws are also likely to lick them constantly and limp while walking. Your dog may suddenly start shaking their head and pawing at its ear after a walk. An onset of sneezing may mean a seed is in the nose.

Prevention is always better than cure. So even though most grass seeds can be removed with a minor surgical procedure by your vet, you can prevent them from affecting your pet by grooming them regularly and keeping their fur clipped to a manageable length.

Shepperton vets Vet4Life suggest you carefully examine your dog after walks as it is the best defence against grass seeds. Don’t hesitate to get your vet involved if you suspect that your dog is suffering from the ill effects of coming in contact with them.

Freshly cut grass

Dogs love to run around a freshly mowed lawn during the spring and summer months. Nevertheless, there are some hidden hazards to keep in mind.

Moisture from mowed grass clippings and warm temperatures can create mould in your garden.  Consuming mouldy grass clippings can cause digestive issues for your dog. It can lead to reduced appetite, vomiting and changes in the stool. The same applies to some fertiliser or other agents applied to lawns used to create lush green gardens.

Shepperton vets Vet4Life suggest you should keep your dog safe by clearing grass clippings and reviewing the ingredients for products that you use in your garden. There are some products labelled as “lawn fertiliser safe for pets”. This means your pet can go back on the grass after a delayed period. Such products have very specific instructions, and it is essential to follow these instructions precisely. Your pet will be thankful and have a great time enjoying the lovely weather.