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Pet sitting: an enjoyable and affordable way to have an overseas holiday

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There's a story in the news today that more British people are choosing “staycations”. There are a number of reasons for this, but one factor is the increasing cost of holidays abroad with the weaker pound since Brexit.

Pet-sitting overseas: an enjoyable experience for animal lovers

I've just experienced a new concept that makes overseas holidays affordable once again. TrustedHouseSitters has a simple premise. If you agree to live in somebody else's house, care for their pets, and carry out basic general maintenance of their home, they will allow you to stay there for free.

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Why do I need to vaccinate against Lepto?

There have been a lot of scare stories in the media recently about the new L4 leptospirosis (lepto) vaccine. Sadly, some of these have been very misleading, and some owners are even talking about stopping using the lepto vaccine, or reverting to an older and less effective version (the L2 vaccine).

In this blog, we’ll have a look at the disease leptospirosis, and the various risks that you need to be aware of. It’s important to remember that not vaccinating doesn’t necessarily put your dog at lower risk of severe illness, just at risk of different diseases!

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The Itchy and Scratchy Show – pet style!

It always makes me laugh when I catch myself internally chastising itchy animals which are hurting themselves by constantly scratching .“Why doesn’t it just stop scratching?!” I ask myself. Then I think of my recent situation, where, as a keen but incompetent vet student, I was excited to get to scrub into surgery – which means having sterile hands. Hands scrubbed and gloved, I developed a rather inconvenient nose-itch. When facial contortions offered no relief, I sheepishly asked an ungloved vet nurse to scratch my nose for me. A bonding experience, some would say…

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That must be the worst part of your job ……

… is something I hear all the time. People are, of course, talking about euthanasia. They imagine it must be really hard putting pets to sleep. Well, it isn’t. I see it as a kindness, a gift, the final act of love for our pets.

Only very occasionally is euthanasia hard for me and that is usually when I am forced to put an otherwise healthy animal (almost exclusively dogs) down because of behavioural problems.

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Why do dogs wag their tails?

There are few things more cheering than the sight of a wagging tail but what is your dog actually trying to tell you?  Certainly, it can indicate happiness but also a lot of other things as well!

  • A tail held high and vigorously wagged from side to side indicates its owner is happy and ready to play.
  • A tail held level with the body and wagged more slowly shows that the dog is in a situation where they are not quite sure what is going on but are interested and paying attention.
  • A tail held low and wagging only a little or twitching, is often showing that the dog is feeling threatened and you should approach and handle them with caution.
  • A tail tucked up and under the body means that the dog is frightened and showing submission.  With reassurance they may start to feel more confident but again, you should take care with them to ensure they don’t progress to growling, or even biting, to make the perceived threat retreat.
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