Christmas is a wonderful time, full of excitement and celebrations with the family. Here at We Love Pets our vet nurse Jodie advises pet owners to watch out for a few winter hazards, to make sure their pets have a safe and fun filled Christmas too!

Christmas Trees.
These look beautiful all decorated and covered in lights, but to a dog they can be quite a problem. The trees themselves come in two types, the natural and the artificial.

Natural trees are mainly non-toxic but may cause mild vomiting or diarrhoea if chewed. However it is often the needles that cause the problem as these can get stuck in a dog’s paw or their digestive system.

Artificial trees present a different hazard. They are usually made of either plastic or foil, which are indigestible for your pooch or anyone else for that matter. Fortunately they don’t smell or taste very appealing but it is best to keep your dog away from them anyway.

A simple precaution is to put a fireguard or baby gate around the tree to keep inquisitive animals at bay, or invest in a smaller version that can be put out of reach.  Regular hovering up of the pines will also minimise problems.

Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia
While we’re on the subject of festive foliage all of these are mildly toxic if eaten so keep them well out of reach or avoid using them altogether.

To dogs, and other animals, the brightly coloured baubles we use for decoration look like playthings and they may try and chew them. If they are made of glass this can be quite dangerous as they can splinter into shards that will cause irritation and the glitter on the surface can be toxic if licked.

Tinsel too presents a risk mainly because it looks so much fun to play with. Dogs will eat it like spaghetti, which can ball up in their stomach and cause a blockage.

If you are tempted to wrap up a box of chocolates and leave it under the tree for Christmas morning – don’t. You may have forgotten which one it is but almost certainly your pet will be able to sniff it out.

Dogs also like a good game of hide and seek, they are always nosing around looking for something interesting, so avoid hiding presents around the house especially anything edible.

It’s not just up to Christmas you need to be careful. After the frenzy of unwrapping on Christmas Morning everyone usually settles down to Christmas Dinner, leaving all the presents strewn across the living room floor. What an irresistible temptation! Don’t forget too that to a dog, children’s toys look like brightly coloured bones or tasty treats and if these have easily detached parts they can become stuck.

It is always best to make sure your beloved pet is kept out of the living room when you are not there.

Sad to say these days that many children’s toys (and adult presents too) come with batteries and these are highly toxic to animals. We often buy some spares, which we include with the gifts just in case they pack up before Boxing Day. Again to a dog these look like appetising morsels if only they can get them out of the packet – which they can usually achieve in 10 seconds flat! Make sure you round up any spare packs of batteries before leaving your dog alone and never leave loose ones on the floor.

Christmas Dinner
It is never really a good idea to feed your dog leftovers as in general; it will be richer, higher in fat and often spicier than dog food.  They are particularly susceptible to salt, onions, garlic and some herbs including chives so beware of filling up their bowl after you’ve finished. The same goes for turkey bones, which can easily find their way into leftovers.

Fruit & Nuts  
One of the staples of Christmas entertaining, bowls of these dotted around the lounge can be a real risk to your pet. Grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas contain toxins that are potentially lethal to dogs whilst peanuts and the increasingly popular Macadamia nuts can often cause an upset tummy and sometimes weakness and tremors. You will also find many of these in Christmas Puddings and cakes too, so keep them well out of reach.

While we’re on the subject of puddings and cakes another no-no for pets is alcohol. Not just the sort you pour into a glass or have over the Xmas pud, but also the stuff that is found in perfumes, aftershaves, colognes and antiseptic preparations such as mouthwashes. The villain of the piece is Ethanol, which extremely toxic to dogs and cats and it is the quantity that the items contain that affects the level of risk. For example Methylated Spirit is 95% ethanol and even alcoholic drinks can contain between 20 to 60%.

This is probably the most commonly found danger at Christmas, really – who doesn’t like a chocolate treat. The problem is that it contains large amounts of caffeine and theobromine, which dogs do not tolerate well. The higher the cocoa content the more dangerous it is, so dark chocolate is a much higher risk – and don’t forget cakes, sweets and biscuits containing chocolate either.

Crackers & Fireworks
Because of their acute sense of hearing even the bang of a cracker can be very disturbing to a dog. Keep them well away from the noise and if you are going to celebrate with some fireworks, keep them in the house preferably in a place where they feel safe and secure with some of their favourite toys.

Finally Christmas is a time for visiting friends and family. The arrival in their home of strangers can be quite unsettling for a dog, even if you know them well they can pose a threat for your dog. Make sure you introduce any new arrivals to your dog to let them know that you approve of their presence. The worst thing you can do is to banish your pet from their usual space – it will confuse them and can be very stressful.

We hope that these tips can make it a very Merry Christmas for you and your pet and remember, if the worst does happen, contact a vet immediately and, wherever possible, get as much information as you can of what your dog may have eaten or come into contact with.

We Love Pets

Watch what happened when this cat and dog were left home alone

Have you ever wondered what your pets get up to, when they’re left home alone? Do they wait at the door, sleep all day… or is that too optimistic? Pets are happiest when you’re home, but they usually find plenty of ways to entertain themselves whilst you’re gone. Passing the time by having the rule of the house, can only mean one thing…chaos. Maybe, you’ve tried recording your pets, to try and explain the suspicious circumstances that you come home to?

We’ve all seen the funny videos pop up on our newsfeed… when curious owners use hidden cameras to record their pets. Whilst enjoying some of our YouTube favourites, we found this video ‘What happened when this cat and dog were left home alone’. We had no idea what to expect and certainly didn’t think that would happen at the end!

Take a look at what happened here, then share it with your friends.

You’ll think twice before rushing out and leaving your pets behind.

Common Diseases Found in Pets

Pets rely heavily on their owners to keep them healthy. Animal diseases can become a problem even when the animal is attended to daily, but there are very common animal diseases that can spread or worsen within a short period of time. Upon recognizing the signs that something is wrong, a quick visit to the veterinarian can help prevent the disease from getting worse. Here are the top 10 most common animal diseases to be aware of.

Gum Disease
Gingivitis is probably the most common disease found in pets. Signs to look for are bad breath, lack of appetite, weight loss, and rotting teeth. It can be prevented with annual check ups and periodical teeth cleaning. There are tartar removal treats for pets, but it will not prevent gingivitis. Neglect will cause further issues leading to periodartitis which causes inflammation, bleeding, and recessed gums and loose teeth.

Lymphocytic Plasmacytic Stomatitis
LPS is a cardiovascular disease that’s an autoimmune deficiency. It’s typically a secondary symptom from something greater effecting the animal such as a viral infection that includes Leukemia or Herpes. These diseases can be prevented with annual check ups. Lack of activity and appetite are signs. It can be triggered by an allergy to tartar on the teeth. Antibiotics can help treat this disease.

Heartworms are commonly found in hunting dogs. Some symptoms are vomiting, coughing, heavy breathing, lack of energy, sudden weight loss, and an extreme change in appetite. Regular check ups with the veterinarian and monthly medication helps prevent heartworms. Cats have a very strong immune response to heartworms and it’s a rare case. Sometimes heartworms can be mistaken for asthma, but if left untreated they’ll die.

These parasites live in the intestines of the host, robbing the animal of nutrients. Caused by swallowing a flea typically while grooming, these worms can be seen in feces and in bedding. A severe infestation will increase appetite and decrease weight. With dewormer and monthly flea treatment, tapeworms will die off.
Skin Infections
Loss of hair is the most common sign of a skin infection. Itchy dry skin leads to hot spots and the pet will continue to lick the area. Ointment can help treat this along with recommended allergy shots provided by the doctor. Allergies and parasites can cause skin infections to occur.

When the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, it becomes inflamed and diabetes can occur. This is most common in overweight pets. Sometimes a drug taken can cause diabetes as it interferes with the insulin process. Take notice to large amount of urine and excessive drinking.

This is a bladder infection caused by bacteria. Signs to look for include painful urination, pet urinating in odd areas and blood in urine. Treatment can be done by the veterinarian.

Kidney Failure
This is a breakdown of the kidneys which regulates blood and water levels in the body. This could lead to death if not caught immediately. It can be caused by an ingestion of antifreeze or a severe illness. Signs to look for is lack of coordination, vomiting, not eating, and seizures.

One of the most contagious viruses, Parvo is among the top 10 most common animal diseases among dogs. Signs to look for are lethargy, vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea leading to life-threatening dehydration. Prevent Parvo with vaccinations.

As one of the top 10 most common animal diseases, Rabies is probably the least common. It’s a virus that’s easily transmitted from one infected animal to another by a simple bite. With proper vaccinations Rabies can be prevented. Signs are aggression, restlessness, irritability, and eventually paralysis, disorientation, and foaming at the mouth.

As these top 10 most common animal diseases tend to be a pet owner’s worst nightmare, most can be treated. Vet Lab Supplies provides veterinary hospitals with proper equipment that allows the doctor to make a correct diagnosis and treat the conditions.


5 Things Every Rescue Dog Owner Needs to Know

There are thousands of rescue dogs in shelters across the country that are in need of loving homes. If you’ve been kind enough to adopt one, you can be proud in the knowledge that you’ve given a dog a well-deserved second chance. Though rescue animals always come with a few complications, they’re definitely worth it.

When it comes to insurance for a rescue dog, there are a few things that you need to know. Thankfully, Bought By Many have put together a helpful list in order to make the process a little bit easier for you.

1. How old is your rescue dog?
Insurers need to know your dog’s age before you can apply for a policy. When you adopt a dog, sometimes the animal shelter will not be sure of its date of birth. If the dog was given up for adoption by a previous family, they’ll usually have fuller records than if it was a stray.

If the shelter doesn’t know your new pet’s age, the advice from insurers is to ask your vet to give the dog a physical exam and provide an estimation.

2. What breed is your dog?
Likewise, shelters may not know the exact breed of your rescue dog, especially if they are a wonderful cross-breed, and this is also an important part of a pet insurance application. You are advised to speak with your vet and select the closest match.

3. Does your dog have any pre-existing medical conditions?
When applying for a pet insurance policy, you will also need to specify whether your dog has any pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or congenital heart disease – or even a more common condition like an ear infection.

Again, the problem with this is the animal shelter you adopted your pet from may not know if it has any medical conditions. This doesn’t only apply if it was a stray – previous owners might not have known about them either.

Guidance from pet insurance companies is to check with the re-homing centre, or ask your vet to examine your dog for any obvious signs. Be sure to let your insurer know if the vet finds any indication of a pre-existing medical condition.

In the worst case scenario, your pet insurance provider may refuse to give your dog cover. If this happens, make sure to join our Bought By Many group for dogs with pre-existing conditions. The company that provides insurance for this group is happy to cover the dog, including the pre-existing condition, if the dog has not had symptoms, treatment, or seen a vet for it in the last 2 years. Join the group here to get £15 cashback on pet insurance for pets with existing medical conditions.

4. Do you have insurance?
Some charities with rehoming shelters offer free insurance when you adopt a dog with them. For example, the RSPCA will give you 6 weeks of free pet insurance from MORE TH>N with up to £4,000 of cover per condition, while Battersea Dogs and Cats home offers 4 weeks free insurance from Petplan.

Some, like Dogs Trust, offer third party liability insurance up to £1m, which covers you if your dog damages property or if someone is injured or falls ill because of your dog.

However, it’s important to note that these kinds of insurance are either temporary, or incomplete. Third party liability insurance does not cover vet bills. And if the shelter gives you time-limited free insurance, you’ll need to renew it – or get a new policy – when this runs out, to make sure you and your pet are fully covered.

To find the best insurance for your dog, have a look at our guide to the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs 2015, and our Complete Pet Insurance Renewal Guide.

5. Preventing a lost dog
Finally, another vital part of any pet insurance policy is protection against loss. Rescue dogs are often nervous and unsure when first adopted, especially if they have a history of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, this means that many attempt to run away from their loving new owners.

So, as well as making sure your property is getaway-proof, be sure to look for an insurance policy that will cover the cost of leaflets and a reward just in case your dog decides they’re an escape artist.

Pet Insurance

Get a great Deal on Healthy Pet Supplies for your Dog

Owning a dog is a delightful experience, as they are so entertaining, loyal and loving. However, having a pet such as a dog can also be very expensive, as there is so much that you have to buy for them. In addition to potential vet fees for things such as inoculations, neutering and any treatment your pet requires over the years, there is also food, bedding, toys, and accessories to think about. All of this adds up and can become very costly over time.

Of course, we don’t want to have to give up our beloved pets due to finances because they are part of the family. One thing you can do is to ensure you get the best deals on the cost of items that you have to purchase for your dog, which is something that you can easily do by shopping at the right places and looking for special deals such as discounts at VouchaCodes stores. When you are purchasing food and other items for your dog, you should never opt for reduced quality in order to cut costs, as this is a false economy and will most likely result in you spending far more in the long run. By using discount codes and vouchers you can ensure that you are able to get the best prices without having to compromise when it comes to quality.

Jack Russell dog pushing a shopping cart full of food on white background

Getting things such as food, leads, bedding, toys and other items you need for your dog from a reputable retailer such as pet supermarket, means that you can also benefit from peace of mind, as you know that you will be purchasing products that are designed to last and food that is designed to nourish your pet. You can enjoy the added bonus of being able to browse the variety of goods available from the comfort and privacy of your own home and then enjoy the convenience and ease of having the items you require delivered to your door. Depending on the value of your order, you can even benefit from free delivery, so it will cost you nothing to reduce the hassle and time involved in buying the items you need for your dog.

Choose from a range of great products

In order to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy, there are various things that you will have to purchase for him. Shopping at the right specialist retailer means that you can get all of these items from one place, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to buy all of the different things that your dog needs. When it comes to buying food for your dog, it is important to opt for high quality for his health and to ensure that he is full and nourished. Reputable retailers will offer a great selection of food for your pet, so you can purchase products that will benefit his health, tempt his taste buds and ensure he gets the vitamins and minerals that he needs.