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.
24 hour vetfone helpline included as part of your policy
We know how important your pet is to you and your family. That's why we offer a free phone pet helpline provided by vetfone that you can call day or night to discuss any pet queries you may have.
The vetfone service allows you to speak directly to experienced, fully qualified veterinary nurses. If you're not sure whether you need to see a vet or want help with first aid or minor ailments, vetfone will provide expert help and advice. They're also on hand to help with anything from grooming and feeding to dietary tips and health advice.
A recent customer survey showed over 99% of vetfone users were more than satisfied with the service, so you can be confident in the support they provide.
vetfone is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, providing a convenient and free source of advice that's invaluable at weekends or out of hours.
35% of customers who call vetfone don't actually need to see a vet. vetfone nurses can offer the support and advice you need to treat your pet at home, saving you the time and expense of a vet visit. In addition, a vetfone nurse can help you spot emergencies that may not initially appear serious, ensuring you get to the vet when you need to.
Calls to vetfone won't affect your premium or policy excess, regardless of how many times you call.
There are different types of pet insurance available. Some cap the total amount you can claim for each condition, others limit you to a year of treatment for a condition.
John Lewis only offers Long Term Cover. This means, if you're insured with us and your premiums are paid, you could claim for a one-off mishap such as a cut paw or an illness such as diabetes which needs treatment every year, or both.
We offer three levels of cover so you can choose the level of veterinary fees you'll have to use for the treatment your pet needs. If your policy is renewed every year, we won't put a time limit on how long treatment can last and we'll pay up to your chosen vet fee limit each year that you need it.
Visiting the vet
When you first get your pet, your vet may carry out a health check which will include looking at your pet's eyes, ears and mouth. They might also have a feel of your pet and listen to its heart. They can advise you on your pet's ideal weight and the vaccinations and parasite control they will need.
If you examine your pet regularly you can usually learn to spot potential health issues before they become a problem.
- Eyes – should look bright, with no discharge.
- Ears – should look clean, with no discharge or unpleasant smell.
- Mouth – should smell clean. Teeth should be checked regularly for plaque build-up.
- Body and limbs – you should not be able to feel any lumps or swellings.
- Coat – should look clean, with no bald patches.
- Claws – may need regular clipping, with particular attention given to the dew claws.
- Weight – a vet can advise your pet's ideal weight. You should seek advice if your pet appears to be losing or gaining excessive weight.
Grooming your pet on a regular basis gives you an opportunity to look for skin conditions 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 an enjoyable experience for you and your pet.
- Most pet shops stock a wide range of brushes and combs and they’ll be able to tell you what’s best for your breed.
- Fleas and lice – live on the surface of the skin and feed on your pet's blood. Often the first sign of fleas or lice is your pet scratching. You may also find live fleas or flea dirt in your pet's coat.
Treatment - is best applied with a "spot-on" drop to the back of the neck. Heavy infestations can be prevented by treating regularly before the problem occurs and regularly washing your pet's bedding and vaccuuming all your rooms in your home.
- Ticks – can be seen attached to any part of your pet's body, but are commonly seen on the head.
Treatment - ticks can be removed with a special tick hook, which can be bought cheaply from a pet shop. Many "spot-on" flea and lice products will also kill ticks. These are available at pet shops or from your vet.
- Worms – owners are often unaware their pet has worms until they cough them up or pass them in their faeces. Follow a regular worming regime to help prevent worms.
Treatment: worms are easily treated with medicines available from your vet. Preventative treatment is usually given as a tablet every three months.