January is a perfect time for a pet MOT…

At the start of a new year we often make a list of things we will change about
ourselves in the coming year, each with varying success! However, January is a great
opportunity to consider making changes to your pet’s lifestyle for the better.

The number one resolution in people can apply to our pets equally so. A large
proportion of the UK pet population are overweight. More worryingly people are
beginning to see this as normal. Being overweight dramatically increases the risk of
certain disease such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis and ultimately leads to
a shorter life for your pet. Stopping table scraps and cutting back on treats are easy
ways to make a big difference. Weigh out their food portions and feed for the weight
recommended by your vet.

Nurse weight checks at Charter are free of charge at your local Charter Vets. If you are concerned your pet is overweight or simply want to get an accurate idea of what they weigh, give us a call and we will book you a free consultation. You will receive plenty of advice and guidance on what to do next and can return at any time to get help and monitor their progress.

Another common issue we see in pets is bad teeth. Dental hygiene is one of the
most neglected areas in our pets. Imagine if we never brushed our teeth! Daily tooth
brushing with pet toothpaste is the gold standard of oral hygiene. Antiseptic pastes
and other products can be used. If your pet has a build-up of tartar or calculus on
their teeth it may be necessary to have them cleaned by a vet under anaesthetic. In
severe cases of dental disease teeth often require extraction. Why not get your pet’s
mouth checked by your vet this month to help with that smelly breath!

As vets, we are seeing an increasing number of pets where their grooming is
becoming neglected. They often enjoy a groom and it is an opportunity to bond with
your pet. Poodle cross breeds have increased in popularity due to their lovely nature
and lack of coat shedding, but they do require frequent haircuts to avoid matted hair.
Is it time to book your pet in for a pampering session at your local

Sometimes as pets age they start to slow down and become a bit stiff. This can be
more noticeable the next day after a longer walk or if they have been lying down for
a long time. Cats often become more reluctant to jump. This can be one of the first
signs of arthritis and if you have concerns then you should get you pet checked out.
There are a lot of supplements and medications that can be helpful in this condition.
Keeping your pets warm and cosy can also help. Ensuring your pet is not overweight
is a big factor that can help pets suffering from arthritis. If you are worried about your
pet, getting them checked out at the vets nice and early helps to ensure we can help
them as much as we can.

Parasite control
It is easy to forget every month to treat your pet for fleas. They can, however,
become a real nuisance when established in your home. There are many different
products available with some having to be given as little as once every three months.
Worming is also very important for your pet. Lungworm can be caught by eating snails and can even be fatal. Please give us a call or pop in to talk through the options available to you for effective parasite treatment.

Rescue a pet
There is a lot of appeal to getting a new puppy or kitten but unfortunately there are a
huge number of cats and dogs that already need a new home. Rescue centres in
the UK are full of pets needing a second chance. Before deciding on a puppy/kitten
why not visit your local rescue centre to see if there is a pet that will fit into your
family and give them that happy future they deserve?
If you have any concerns about your pet, or would like advice, then please do not hesitate to speak to us.

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