Puppy training – appropriate play

puppy-playing-ballPlay is very important to build a bond and trust between you and your new puppy. However, it is important to set boundaries for playing. Dogs that have played with humans can be much more fun to have around and can be more sociable than those who have only learnt to play with dogs.

When playing a sharing game, you must win most often than not. The puppy must win occasionally so they keep an interest in the game. This tells your pup that you are in charge of play time. It is good to end play with your puppy while he still wants to play as this will keep him interested in you. It’s important to put away the toy after the game has finished. It’s recommended to have a selection of toys, some to share with your puppy and some to play with on their own. Continue Reading

What to feed guinea pigs?

guinea-pig-eating-strawThe suitable feed for guinea pigs are complete feeds, especially for guinea pigs based on seeds and grains. They should have Timothy or grass hay that should be available for them at all times because the fibre content is crucial for dental wear and gastrointestinal tract function. Guinea pigs need to be supplied with Vitamin C in their diet. Non-breeding guinea pigs need 10mg/kg of vitamin C a day and breeding guinea pigs and/or ill guinea pigs need 35-50mg/kg per day.

Guinea pigs can have fresh greens for additional Vitamin C, these greens include Asparagus. Basil, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Carrots, Cauliflower leaves and stalks, Celery, Coriander, courgette, cucumber, Parsnip, radish, red cabbage, rocket, Spinach, turnips, tomato, water cress, kale, cabbage, dandelions (moderation) and parsley. These greens also serve as enrichment for the guinea pigs. Guinea pigs should not have potato and potato tops, Rhubarb (and leaves) and tomato leaves.

Guinea pigs can have fresh fruit as well but only occasionally and in small quantities because there is a high sugar content. The fruit that are suitable in small amounts are apples, grapefruit, strawberries, gooseberries, kiwi fruit, mango, orange and tangerine. There must be careful consideration for expiry dates on complete pellets because vitamin C is perishable.

Any dietary changes must occur slowly mixing in with previous food to avoid any gastrointestinal upset.

Vet4life Family now launched – your pet’s health plan

family-logoIan Stroud and the team at Vet4Life have created a fantastic new health plan that’s now available at each of our clinics, Teddington, Shepperton and Surbiton. The Family plan will help clients old and new, ensure that their beloved pets have consistent access to the very highest levels of care.

The Family plan covers the cost of all annual preventative health care, with tailored plans available for cats, dogs and rabbits. Worming and flea treatments are all taken care of, with one annual fee that is spread into affordable monthly payments. Routine vaccinations are also included, along with six-monthly check ups and FREE and unlimited consultations with any of the Vet4Life nurses or vets. Continue Reading

Join us in Bushy Park for the Teddington #GetPetsFit

teddington-getpetsfitCome along to Bushy Park this Wednesday 7th May to help raise awareness of pet obesity

This Wednesday 7th May sees the launch of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA)’s #GetPetsFit campaign, a fantastic initiative to help pet owners ensure a healthy future for their pets by keeping them at their ideal weight.

Ian Stroud and Julie Carrig from Vet4life are involved to run Agility, free weigh-in sessions and individual advice for your pet.

Your pet may need to lose a little weight or you may just want some extra tips and advice on fitness, any pet owner can get involved. Spread the word to friends, family and colleagues, and make sure you come down to the campaign launch at Teddington Cricket Club on 7th May!


Wednesday 7th May, 9.30am-12.30pm


The Clubhouse at Teddington Cricket Club


Pre-Launch Campaign Photoshoot!:
An opportunity for Teddington’s dogs to be stars of the #GetPetsFit PR photoshoot

Introduction to the #GetPetsFit Campaign with tips and advice from guest experts, including Ian Stroud

Kick-off Activity: Dog Agility Class
Put your dogs through their paces with an action-packed dog agility class!


To reserve your place, please telephone 0208 870 6777, email PFMA@saltlondon.com or just turn up on the day.

My dog has dry, itchy skin – what can I do?

dog-scratching-behind-earA question we commonly hear is, “My dog has dry itchy skin. He occasionally gets rashes, bumps or hot spots. What can I do?”

There are many reasons why a dog has dry itchy skin, below is a list of different problems and the way to treat and prevention. Continue Reading

Why castrate my cat

ginger-tom-catSome pet owners ask us whether their (male) cat has to be castrated – after all, there isn’t the risk of pregnancy and kittens with a male cat.

We recommended that cats are castrated for several reasons:

  • A castrated cat is less likely to fight with other cats, which reduces the incidence of bite wounds, other injuries and risk of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV, otherwise known as ‘cat aids’).
  • A castrated cat is less likely to wander, which reduces the likelihood of him getting caught up in road traffic accidents, or getting lost or stolen.
  • A castrated cat smells much nicer! A ‘tom cat’ loves to mark his territory by spraying smelly urine in the house.

A cat castration is a short operation, done under a very brief anaesthetic and the cat can often go home as quickly as one hour after the operation.

Please contact us to book an appointment for your little man or read more about cat castration.

What to do if you have found a baby bird

baby-birds-nestWhat can I do if I find a baby bird?
It’s “orphan season” for wildlife from the end of March and usually at this time of year we receive many phone calls about what people should do if they find baby birds, foxes and squirrels, etc.

During the spring or “orphan season,” baby animals are born and face dangers from animal predators, and from man-made predators (such as cars, roads, litter on the streets, etc.).

When we see a baby animal who appears orphaned or on its own, the caring instinct in us tempts us to jump in and “rescue” it, but actually, the best thing we can do for it is to leave it alone. Continue Reading

Socialising your new kitten

kitten-sleeping-on-childWe hear a lot about the importance of socialising puppies when they are young but did you know that it is just as important to socialise kittens too?!

Kittens, like puppies are most receptive to learning in their first few weeks of life (usually between 2-7 or 8 weeks of age). This means that, as pet owners, we should take advantage of this window of opportunity and ensure that our kitten receives a range of positive experiences with a variety of people, other pets and household stimuli. This will ensure that they grow up to be happy well-adjusted cats.

As cats do not have an innate ‘need’ to be with people, early handling by different people during this time is essential. Funnily enough, the pleasure for cats of being around people is a learned behaviour. It is very difficult to socialise kittens that have had no human contact after weaning so a well-structured socialisation plan is crucial. Continue Reading

Brand New Dental X-Ray Machine

dental xray machineDental X-rays

We have invested in the latest equipment providing cutting edge dental treatment for your pets. With our brand new direct digital X-ray machine, we can take dental X-rays (radiographs) which are essential for detecting serious mouth problems. Using a very safe, low amount of radiation, these X-rays provide a lot of detail and allow us to find cavities, check the health of the tooth and surrounding bone.

Our aim at Vet4life is to provide the best care for your pets and we will use dental radiographs on every case where appropriate. This helps reduce complications and ensures only the most optimal dental care for your pet is performed. Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Sasha

sashaThis Big Bear Award goes to Sasha for being so brave throughout all her recent treatment. Sasha is a 6 year old whippet who ruptured her Achilles tendon back in October. Her treatment has included two surgeries and months of rehabilitation.

What happened?

The Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone of the hind limb and is responsible for keeping the heel elevated off the ground. Sasha presented to us with a very sore hind leg and a peculiar “flat footed” stance. The diagnosis was confirmed with x-rays and it was decided to take her to surgery to repair the tendon and give her the best chance for a full recovery. Continue Reading