As a pet owner you’ll want to keep your pet fit and healthy. It’s far better to prevent health problems than it is to cure them. Often there are warning signs and it’s important that you’re able to recognise these. It’s best to act on them as soon as you can by seeking help from your vet. Here are some ways to keep your pet healthy.
Visiting the vet
After an initial consultation, your vet will be able to advise you on the right vaccinations for your pet – most vets will provide an initial vaccination between 9-12 weeks, with a booster two weeks later.
Your vet will also give your pet a thorough examination paying particular attention to their paws, coat, eyes, nose and mouth.
24 hour vet helpline
We know how important your pet is to you and your family. That's why we offer a free pet helpline provided by vetfone that you can call day or night.
You can call for expert advice on anything from grooming and feeding to dietary tips and health advice. This may save you an unnecessary trip to the vet.
Our policy offers long-term cover for your pet, which means you’ll be able to claim for ongoing conditions. There is no time limit on how long treatment can last and we'll pay up to your chosen vet fee limit each year as long as we can continue to offer cover, your premiums are paid and the policy is renewed each year.
For example, if your dog gets arthritis you’ll be covered each time they need treatment up to your chosen vet fee limit each year, as long as you’re insured with us and your premiums are up to date.
If you examine your pet regularly you can usually spot potential health problems before they become too serious.
- Nose – A healthy nose should be cold and damp without any discharge.
- Coat – The coat should be in good condition, it should be glossy and pleasant to touch.
- Ears – They should be responsive to all sounds and should be clean with no visible wax or unpleasant smell.
- Teeth – Healthy teeth should be white and smooth.
- Claws – Claws should end level with the pad and not be too long.
Grooming your pet on a regular basis gives you an opportunity to look for skin conditions, cuts, abrasions, discharges or parasites. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet.
- Start grooming your pet from a young age so that they get used to it, you can then build a routine so that it becomes a ‘positive event’.
- Most pet shops stock a wide range of brushes, combs and grooming scissors and they’ll be able to tell you what’s best for your breed.
Preventing fleas and parasites
There are two types of unwelcome parasites – external and internal. Both can be treated easily if spotted in the
- Fleas and lice – live on the surface of the skin and can be seen when you look closely at your pet’s hair. Look out for thin or bald patches where your pet will have been scratching.
Treatment - Insecticidal sprays, shampoos and powders can be bought from pet shops and veterinary surgeries. Always treat the surrounding environment including pet bedding and collars as well your pet’s hair, as this will stop re-infestation.
- Ticks – cling to your pet’s hair, especially on the legs, head or under-belly and pierce their skin.
Treatment - Simply dab the tick with an alcohol such as gin or methylated spirit, and wait for a few minutes. Then using tweezers remove the tick, making sure to pull it out completely.
- Worms – live inside your pet’s body and are slightly harder to detect. Upset bowels, emaciation, fits and vomiting are all common symptoms.
Treatment: Your vet will prescribe a ‘worming’ medication. If you haven’t already got a regular worming routine, they’ll suggest one.