What your pets want you to know

All our medical advice is reviewed by vets, to stay up-to-date with the latest research.
  • Louisa the vet on: what to know about heatstroke in pets
    Louisa the vet on: what to know about heatstroke in pets
    To kick off our season of summer safety tips, veterinarian Dr Louisa Lane tells us all about heatstroke in pets.
    You can avoid heatstroke by keeping your pets out of the heat, with constant access to shady spaces and drinking water. Never leave your pet in a hot, poorly-ventilated space like a conservatory or a hot car.
    If you think your pet has heat stroke, move them into the shade and poor cool (not cold!) water on them, and call your vet.
    This article was updated 13th April 2023
    Blog
  • Podcast #5: Puppy mythbusting: what’s "normal" behaviour in your new puppy
    Podcast #5: Puppy mythbusting: what’s "normal" behaviour in your new puppy
    Podcast
  • How to stimulate a “lazy” pet and exercise your dog in different ways
    How to stimulate a “lazy” pet and exercise your dog in different ways
    Some dogs need less exercise than others, but all dogs need daily walks and exercise. 
    Exercising your dog is key to keeping them happy and healthy. It helps to keep them fit and prevents obesity, but it also prevents boredom and problem behaviours.
    All dogs should have a minimum of an hour’s exercise everyday, ideally in two walks. But you can supplement walks with other games and activities like fetch, tug, scent games, hide and seek, puzzle toys, swimming, or dog sports to help provide exer
    Blog
  • Canine couch potatoes: Is there such a thing as “lazy dog breeds”?
    Canine couch potatoes: Is there such a thing as “lazy dog breeds”?
    A healthy dog is an active dog, and all dogs need some exercise every day.
    Some dogs don’t need as much exercise as others, but they still need daily walks. 
    Many of the “lazy dog breeds” are actually dogs who find exercise uncomfortable or painful. Exercise intolerance is typically a symptom of illness.
    Blog
  • Everything you need to know about Pembroke Welsh Corgis
    Everything you need to know about Pembroke Welsh Corgis
    The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a hardy little herding dog with a foxy face. They’re best known for their long bodies and little legs, and for being the favourite dog of Queen Elizabeth II and her father, king King George VI.
    Breed guide
  • Can cats drink milk? Why you should never let your cat get the cream
    Can cats drink milk? Why you should never let your cat get the cream
    Cats drinking milk is as stereotypical as dogs eating bones. However, most adult cats are lactose intolerant and can't digest milk without causing vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, and stomach pain. 
    Milk also has little nutritional value, and the sugars and fat in it can lead to weight gain and obesity if your cat drinks it regularly.
    Instead of a saucer of milk, offer your cat some fresh water to drink and keep their hydration up.
    Blog
  • Why do cats meow? How to understand what your cat's trying to tell you
    Why do cats meow? How to understand what your cat's trying to tell you
    Most of us think purring means a happy cat, and that hissing is a sign of aggression, but it turns out that’s not strictly true. 
    Meows and yowls might mean your cat wants something. Purring can be a sign of contentment or that your cat’s been stressed. Hissing is actually your cat saying they feel threatened. And chirping or chirruping can mean your cat’s excited, happy to see you, or in hunting mode.
    Blog
  • Podcast #4: How to train your cat: translate meows and understand their behaviours
    Podcast #4: How to train your cat: translate meows and understand their behaviours
    Podcast
  • Everything you need to know about Pugs
    Everything you need to know about Pugs
    The Pug was once a cheeky canine companion of Chinese emperors that’s now a popular pet. Sadly, due to some inappropriate and irresponsible breeding in pursuit of a specific look, this breed’s distinctive brachycephalic shape has led to the majority of them succumbing to a plethora of serious health conditions.
    Breed guide
  • Podcast #3: Breeding ethics, not aesthetics: what you need to know before adopting a brachy breed
    Podcast #3: Breeding ethics, not aesthetics: what you need to know before adopting a brachy breed
    Podcast
  • 8 ways to stop your dog being scared of the vet
    8 ways to stop your dog being scared of the vet
    The first time you expose your puppy to the vet, try to make it a positive experience for them.
    Each time you visit the vet, it is important to start making positive associations from when you leave the house. And, training should always be practiced and reinforced at home. 
    Learn to recognise when your dog is feeling nervous, and try not to mollycoddle them, as this may make them more anxious. Instead, introduce commands your dog is familiar with and reward the good behaviour.
    Blog
  • Behaviourist Dr. Kendal Shepherd on … Training your dog to like the vet
    Behaviourist Dr. Kendal Shepherd on … Training your dog to like the vet
    It's a good idea to take your new puppy to the vet before they need any treatment or checkups, to get them used to the new sights and smells. 
    On every trip to the vet, introduce positive associations as rewards for good and calm behaviour before you leave the house, and continue them in the surgery. 
    Bring tasty treats with you and ask your vet to reward your dog for some commands they know. Always praise and reward good behaviour throughout your dog’s life, including at the vet.
    Blog
  • Everything you need to know about French Bulldogs
    Everything you need to know about French Bulldogs
    A unique little dog with a big personality. French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK, but their distinctive and extreme body shape makes them much more likely to suffer from serious medical issues compared to other breeds.
    Breed guide
  • 10 of the longest-living dog breeds in the world
    10 of the longest-living dog breeds in the world
    The average life expectancy for dogs is up to 13-14 years, but some breeds buck the trend and live into their late teens and twenties. Rehoming or buying one of these 10 longest-living dog breeds could give you longer with your furry friend. You can also maximise any dog’s lifespan by feeding them a balanced diet, providing plenty of exercise, and keeping them at a healthy weight.
    This article was updated on 07 March 2023
    Blog
  • Podcast #2: Disappearing dogs: the rise of UK pet thefts
    Podcast #2: Disappearing dogs: the rise of UK pet thefts
    Podcast
  • Podcast #1: The pet obesity epidemic: helping our furry friends to be healthier
    Podcast #1: The pet obesity epidemic: helping our furry friends to be healthier
    Podcast
  • Everything you need to know about Cockapoos
    Everything you need to know about Cockapoos
    Cute and clownish Cockapoos are the most popular crossbreed in the UK, and are generally considered to be good family pets. Cockapoos need grooming 2-3 times a week and at least an hour of exercise a day, and can be more prone to ear infections, hip dysplasia, and pancreatitis. New owners should be aware that the high demand for these dogs means some irresponsible breeders are taking advantage of unknowing owners and selling low-welfare puppies.
    Breed guide
  • Emma the Vet on ... What to know before bringing home a new dog
    Emma the Vet on ... What to know before bringing home a new dog
    When looking to buy from a breeder, Dr Emma Milne BVSc FRCVS (Emma the vet) explains the importance of requesting proper health tests, using the AWF puppy contract, and avoiding unscrupulous breeders and puppy farms.
    Emma is a big advocate of adoption and "proper mongrels", and recommends all would-be owners visit a rescue centre to see if they fall in love! 
    Breeder or rescue, always talk to a vet about your new dog's needs, health issues, and cost of care before you bring them home.
    Blog
  • How to entertain and stimulate your indoor cat
    How to entertain and stimulate your indoor cat
    Providing exercise and enrichment for indoor cats helps to prevent problem behaviours and keeps them happy and healthy.
    Spending time with your cat, playing with them, varying their puzzle toys, providing high perches for them, helping them “hunt” for meals, teaching them tricks (yes, really!) and allowing them to watch the world from a window can all help to stimulate an indoor cat.
    Blog
  • From plaque to extract: how dental disease progresses in pets
    From plaque to extract: how dental disease progresses in pets
    Dental disease is the most common infectious disease affecting our pets, and it’s entirely preventable. You should look after your pet’s teeth the same way you do yours, with routine dental checks and daily brushing. This can save your pet the pain of dental disease, and save you the stress and cost of treating the problem.
    Blog
  • 11 important ways to take good care of your pet
    11 important ways to take good care of your pet
    Feeding your pet a healthy diet, vaccinating them, providing regular antiparasitic treatment, and attending routine health and dental checks are important to keep your pet healthy and spot any problems early. Preventative health care like this also tends to be much cheaper than treatment. 
    If your pet is injured or unwell, pet insurance will cover the cost of vet bills. Failing to keep up with annual health checks and vaccinations, however, may affect your ability to claim.
    Blog
  • 10 things you need to know about adopting a rescue dog in the UK
    10 things you need to know about adopting a rescue dog in the UK
    Rehoming a rescue dog means taking on the responsibility of providing a forever home for your new furry friend. It’s also the reward of changing an animal’s life for the better. Adoption costs around £150-200 depending on the charity. Although some dogs do end up in shelters after cases of neglect, there are many reasons why dogs need to be rehomed. A reputable charity will assess dogs to make sure they’re suitable and safe for adoption and will only suggest pets fit for your home and lifestyle.
    Blog
  • How to keep your pet’s teeth healthy
    How to keep your pet’s teeth healthy
    87% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from dental disease at some point, and treatment without insurance can be expensive. Preventative dental care is therefore very important.
    Taking your pet for annual dental checkups will help you stay on top of their oral hygiene. You should also brush their teeth at least twice a week. Dental chews can help, but should be given in moderation. A healthy, low-sugar diet will also help your pet's teeth and gums to stay healthy and strong. 
    Blog
  • What you need to know before buying a dog from a breeder
    What you need to know before buying a dog from a breeder
    Before buying a dog from a breeder, you must be able to see the puppy with its mother. A good breeder should ask you questions about your home and lifestyle, and they should gladly answer any queries you have about the pet and its parents. Look for the Assured Breeder’s Scheme and make sure the puppy's parents are health tested. Never pay for a pet before you take them home.
    Blog
  • 6 commonly asked questions about cat microchipping
    6 commonly asked questions about cat microchipping
    With the new cat microchipping law coming into force, here's a quick runthrough of a few questions you might have
    Blog
  • The new law on cat microchipping
    The new law on cat microchipping
    From June 2024, it will become the law that all cats in the UK must be microchipped by five months old. Failing to do so could result in a fine for owners of up to £500. Microchipping usually costs less than £20, carries no known health risks, and can help you to be reunited with your cat should it get lost. Owners should always remember to update their pet's microchip details if they change their telephone number or move house.
    This article was updated 15 March 2023.
    Blog
  • What you need to know about adopting a dog from overseas
    What you need to know about adopting a dog from overseas
    Adopting a pet from overseas can be a great thing to do, but owners should be well aware in advance of what’s involved, such as costs (usually up to £800), adoption processes including home checks, and the responsibility to help the pet adjust once it is in its new home.
    Blog
  • Top tips for training your pup on and off-lead
    Top tips for training your pup on and off-lead
    Here are 6 key steps to train your pup for stress-free walkies
    Blog
  • Top tips for ethically adopting from overseas
    Top tips for ethically adopting from overseas
    Here are seven common questions about adopting a dog from abroad
    Blog
  • Easter treats your dog or cat must not eat
    Easter treats your dog or cat must not eat
    Be sure to keep chocolate Easter eggs, decorations, sweets, roast dinner, fruitcake, and too much cheese, away from your dog or cat this holiday. It's always best to call a vet if you think they've eaten something they really shouldn't have.
    Blog