The 12 dangers of Christmas for your pets

Christmas is a fantastic time for us but please be aware that there are many potential dangers for our pets! We have listed 12 common ones below:

  1. Raisins, grapes and mince pies
  2. Onions and garlic
  3. Chocolate
  4. Alcohol
  5. Batteries
  6. Christmas decorations and tinsel
  7. Mistletoe, holly and poinsettias
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Fatty foods and bones
  10. Christmas pudding
  11. Antifreeze
  12. Ribbon

This list is not exhaustive. If you think your pet may have eaten any non-pet food items or you have any concerns, please call us immediately – we have 24 hour cover even during the festive season.

Autumn 2017 newsletter


We’re really pleased to let you know about our new video section on the website and to introduce our new customer care adviser, Taniya.

Firework time is coming up and planning ahead can help you, help your pet. Please read our firework advice for all the things you can do this year.

If you have been to see us recently we hope you have had the very best care from the whole team. If so, we’d really appreciate your vote in the upcoming Pet Plan Veterinary Awards.

Happy reading!

Best wishes,

The Vet4Life Team Continue Reading

How Reiki can help animals

Some of our clients find Reiki healing very useful. We asked Gill Carrick, who does Reiki healing in Teddington and locally, to tell us a bit more about it:

Reiki can benefit animals experiencing a range of challenges, and my recent cases have included a sweet cat called Mia, and a brave dog called Sandie.

Mia’s owner approached me earlier this year, clearly concerned about the change to her ‘fur-bundle’ since the family moved into a new home a few months’ ago. Normally an outdoor cat, Mia’s now refusing to leave the house; spending hours hiding under the bed. She also meows constantly.

Mia’s been checked over by her vet and it seems there’s no underlying physical explanation, so the owner suspects it’s an emotional issue. It certainly seems to point that way. Continue Reading

New opening hours at Vet4Life – Surbiton

From Monday 2nd October, our Surbiton clinic will have longer opening hours.

This is great news  as our clients can enjoy appointments early in the morning and later in the evening in addition to extended opening hours on a Saturday! Their pet can be seen whenever they are ill and when it is convenient for them to be seen.

Our new hours at Surbiton are:

  • Monday-Friday 7:30am – 7:30pm
  • Saturday 8:30am – 5:00pm
  • (Sundays at Teddington 10:00am-4:00pm)
Consultations are:
  • Monday-Friday 8:00am – 1:00pm and 4:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Saturday 9:00am – 12:00 and 2:00 until 4:30pm
  • Urgent and emergency cases seen at all times

We hope that these hours work for you, please let us know if they do. Thank you for your continued support.

Chester goes to Puppy School – week 3

Our 3rd puppy class with Vet4Life was at the beautiful Surbiton practice. Chester was very excited, a good time to practice “settle” at our feet. In class we introduced sit and stay, walking through tunnels, high five and advanced attention exercise. Chester loved it! At home Chester has truly made it his own; crate training has been very successful and loves hanging out in his ‘safe space’ where he also eats and sleeps. At 11 weeks old Chester is rapidly growing and learning all the time!

(If you’d like your new puppy to join our puppy school, give us a ring on 0208 977 3955!)

Chester goes to Puppy School – week 2

Training is already beginning to pay off! Chester is becoming more confident each day; he is being exposed to new things outside the house as we carry him about: family, friends, a variety of strangers, other dogs, cars and the weather! At puppy class we continued to make friends with the other puppies and introduced some lead training.

(If you’d like your new puppy to join our puppy school, give us a ring on 0208 977 3955!)

Chester goes to Puppy School – week 1

This is Chester, a cockapoo puppy new recruit to puppy class. Follow our blog to read about Chester’s puppy school experience and training!

Chester, a cockapoo, has begun his journey to become the perfect puppy. At 9 weeks old Chester is beginning to learn his name, sit, down, come and where is acceptable to use the toilet. (Hint: Not the hallway!).

At home Chester is being crate trained and taught fun games such as retrieve and tug of war. The picture shows Chester at his first check-up at Vet4Life in Teddington!

(If you’d like your new puppy to join our puppy school, give us a ring on 0208 977 3955!)

Blue-green algae information

Blue-green algae are used to describe bacteria called cyanobacteria. They grow quickly and can form blue or green or brown clumps that can resemble algae. It can look like there is a blue-green scum on the surface of the water often looking a bit like pea soup, more commonly in lakes and ponds during warmer weather.

Blue-green algae can be rapidly toxic to dogs so please call your vet immediately if you think you have a case of poisoning.

  • Don’t let your dog swim in or drink water containing blue-green algae.
  • It is most common in the hotter drier months of the year.

Continue Reading

Is it safe to give your dog bones?

Feeding raw food and bone diets are becoming increasingly popular as pet owners try recreate a natural diet. However it is important to use these products in way that is safe for your pet.

Both raw and cooked bones can pose a hazard, they can cause obstructions in the gut, cause fractured teeth and sharp fragments can damage the mouth and gut. As carnivores dogs have incredibly powerful biting and chewing muscles. In a bite they can exert up to a whopping 300 pounds per square inch. This force is enough to shatter bones but can also shatter teeth! As teeth as quite brittle it is easy for a misdirected bite to cause a serious and painful tooth fracture. Bone will not be easily digested by the gut and will remain very solid, it is for this reason diets which are very high in bone content can cause intestinal obstructions.

Chewing and biting are normal behaviours for a dog so it is important that they get a chance to express them, there are lots of products available to help emulate this behaviour and allow them to express it. As each dog is an individual it is worth having a conversation with a vet or behaviourist as to which products are more likely to be right for your pet.

With any product for biting or chewing the pet should be monitored closely and ask the following questions:

  • Are they likely to break it?
  • If it is broken is it likely to be hazardous (i.e. have sharp edges or stuffing which should not be eaten)?
  • If they swallowed it would it cause a problem?

Please get in touch for further advice.

New parasite treatment for dogs

We continually review our parasite treatment protocols and the new products that are available, to ensure that we can offer the best possible protection for your pet. There is a new product which is now included on the health plan for our Family members. It protects against all the key parasites mentioned below so has the added advantage of tick prevention.

It is a tasty chew, which can make parasite control like giving a treat to your dog, so you can be confident that the full dose of product has been given. Using an oral chew also means that your dog can be stroked and cuddled straight after treatment and swimming or bathing won’t affect the treatment working.

The existing products your pet will have been prescribed are still very effective and safe. But to help ensure that our Family members have access to the very best and latest parasite treatment options we have now included the chew on the plan. We are sure that your pet will love this treatment just as much as you’ll love the convenience.  Continue Reading