Five ways you can avoid the biggest threats
to your dog’s health

A recent study published by the Royal Veterinary College has identified that dental disorders, osteoarthritis and obesity are ‘priority areas for welfare improvement in the UK dog population.’ ¹

All three conditions can initially be difficult to spot in the early stages and may go undetected – leaving your pet in increasing levels of discomfort.

The good news is, there are some positive steps you can take to help your four-legged friend maximise their chances of leading a long and healthy life:

Make the most of the health assessment your dog will undergo when they have their annual vaccinations.

Your vet will give your dog a thorough check-over when they visit the practice for their jabs. This includes listening to their heart and lungs, running hands over them to feel for any abnormalities, and checking eyes and skin amongst a host of other things. It’s a good chance to discuss your dog’s general health, any changes in their behaviour and a point at which your vet may pick up on anything unusual in its early stages and be able to act on quickly.

Take advantage of FREE weight clinics.

Our fantastic nursing team offer a host of free clinics – and weight checks are one of them. Our Registered Veterinary Nurses have a wealth of experience and knowledge, not to mention higher qualifications in pet nutrition. Make an appointment to see one of our friendly team, who will weigh your dog and discuss a tailor-made weight loss plan with you – including regular opportunities to catch up and track progress.

Be your dog’s own tooth fairy.

Regular dental care for our dogs is so important and should feature as a normal part of their daily routine. There are a confusing number of products available that all claim to help with looking after your pet’s teeth but Charter Vet Tom Williams BVSc MANZCVS (Small Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery) MRCVS, who has a particular interest in dental disease and oral surgery, says “Nothing beats the toothbrush! Nothing even comes close. The mechanical removal of plaque is the gold standard of oral hygiene and the bristles of a brush get into all the nooks and crannies where the gum sits against the tooth. Meat flavoured paste can be used on the brush and most dogs will tolerate it if you introduce if early and be patient. The younger you start the better. Studies have shown that the other products offer some benefit and every little helps, especially if you can’t brush, but if you can.. BRUSH!”

Before beginning your dog’s dental care campaign though, Tom exercises a note of caution. “If it’s safe to do so, lift the lip of your dog and take a look. If you suspect they may have gum disease then please speak to your vet for further advice. Brushing sore wobbly teeth will do no good at all and the pain you may cause could cause an irreparable breakdown in trust.” Click here for more information on the symptoms of dental disease – and the comprehensive range of dental care services Tom offers.

If you spot any changes in your pet’s character or mobility, talk to us.

As they are unable to tell us in words how they feel, as pet owners it is our job to look out for signs that there is a problem. Click here for signs to look out for that your pet might be uncomfortable.

Designed and developed by Dave Tittle BVetMed CertVA GPCert (WVA & CPM) MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Anaesthesia, we run pain and mobility clinics at Charter Vets. Our clinics assess and treat your pet according to their individual needs, and utilise a broad range of techniques to maximise their comfort and mobility. In addition to traditional and advanced techniques of veterinary medicine, we employ a range of other therapies such as acupuncture, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to ensure the most targeted, effective approach possible. If you think this is something that might benefit your dog, or for more information please call us on 01271 371115 or take a look at our Pain & Mobility Clinic page.

If your dog does need orthopaedic surgery – they are in good hands. Simon Thompson BVetMed CertSAS MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner Small Animal Surgery, is based at Charter Veterinary Hospital in Roundswell and treats challenging surgical cases across the south-west. He sits on the British Veterinary Orthopaedics Association (BVOA) executive committee and works from his highly equipped dedicated orthopaedic theatre, utilising Charter’s advanced diagnostic equipment and fully equipped hospital facilities. Find out more about the orthopaedics and spinal surgery services Simon offers here.

Join the club.

The overriding message is that regular contact with your vet is vital in keeping your dog in the best of health and spotting any problems in their early stages. Regular, routine check-ups are key and prevention is certainly better than cure!

Want to save some money? Take a look at our care plan. It’s a no-brainer. It allows you to spread the cost of routine preventative care such as vaccinations and parasite control across the whole year with simple monthly payments. It offers generous discounts on services such as dental suite and hydrotherapy treatments, plus money off our nutritionally advanced, vet-recommended food range. It really does save you money and helps you to be proactive in combating the biggest threats to canine health in the UK today. Read on to find out more or give us a call today to sign up.