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Caring for your pets


A pet is for life not just for Christmas, so the saying goes – and how right it is. Cats and dogs require a lot more work than you might imagine when you first see their adorable little faces.

Walking, cleaning, feeding, training, paying for… the list goes on. But when it comes to welcoming you home, nuzzling your toes or making you laugh, a beloved pooch or kitty takes a lot of beating. That’s why we’ve put together a top ten of TLC tips for your pet - because while they may chew your carpets, they still always manage to put a smile on your face…

Top tips

  1. Snap-happy
    It’s now possible to get dog and cat-cams, which can be attached to your pet’s collar and collect photographic evidence of what they get up to when you aren’t around. This can be a great way to get a whole new insight into your furry friend and make sure they’re safe and happy in their adventures.
  2. Dinner is served…
    Any pet-owner knows that the way to a cat or dog’s heart is through its stomach. John Lewis stock some adorable pet food bowls including Alessi Pets designer cat food bowl, complete with a lid to keep food fresh. Perfect for building a healthy appetite.
  3. Chip off the old block
    Micro-chipping is becoming increasingly popular with pet owners who want to keep track of cats and canines. The procedure involves injecting a chip, which is only a little larger than a grain of rice, just beneath the animal’s skin. Then, should your pet take a wander they can be easily identified by a special scanner and hopefully returned to you quickly.
  4. Furry followers of fashion
    While cats may not appreciate you giving them a makeover, dogs can enjoy the pampering and attention that comes with dressing up. This fun Fashion Dog book includes a whole host of  coats, scarves, collars and cushions to knit, crochet and sew for your favourite pooch.
  5. All abroad!
    The government’s Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) can allow people to go abroad with their cats and dogs and avoid long quarantine periods when they return. This can save on the cost or kennels and catteries when you’re away and of course ensure all the members of your family can enjoy the break. Find out more about PETS on the Directgov website.
  6. Primping and preening
    A clean pet is a happy pet and so grooming can be a serious business. Harrods actually stock a range of ‘Pet Head’ toiletries including ‘Purrtastic Passion Fruit Skin Soothing Shampoo’ and ‘Pretty Kitty Strawberry Yoghurt Detangling Spray’. For a no-nonsense alternative for your pooch try Stay Fresh Dog Rub Downs, which are lavender-scented and can help you and your dog to dodge the ordeal of bath-time.
  7. Purrrfect breaks
    While most hotels and holiday homes don’t look too kindly on guests of the furry variety, some are more than happy to welcome cats and dogs. Take a look at Pet Holiday Finder for some top ideas. Some of our favourites include:

    - A Devon Fishermans Cottage in Ilfracombe that sleeps four people and up to two cats or dogs
    - Warwickshire Narrow Boat Hire, where boats come in a range of sizes accommodating up to eight people and five cats or dogs
    - The 16th century Groes Inn near Conwy in North Wales, which has 14 rooms and will sleep two cats or dogs per room.
  8. Healthy canines…
    Crunchy cat biscuits can help cats to keep their teeth in check but a dog’s oral hygiene sometimes needs a helping hand. Chew toys are great for promoting healthy teeth and gums but why not go the extra mile for your canine’s canines with specially designed dental products?
  9. Puss in boot-camp
    If you have a fat cat then there’s nothing for it but exercise. House cats can often grow sluggish and portly but taking time to play with him or her will maximize your bond while improving their health and well-being. Corks laced with catnip, wand-toys and bells tend to drive cats wild, especially if you have wooden floors for them to skid around on. Take fifteen minutes out of each day to indulge your kitty and they’ll be whipped into shape in no time.
  10. Toxic ‘treats’
    Many pet owners don’t realise that some human food can be particularly harmful to cats and dogs. Here’s a quick checklist that should help you to distinguish treats from trouble:

    - Chocolate: Toxic for both cats and dogs, make sure it doesn’t get left out accidentally
    - Macadamia nuts: Can cause vomiting in dogs
    - Mushrooms: Dogs will react badly to all types and some can even cause death
    - Tomatoes: The fruit and the plant can cause severe gastrointestinal upset in cats
    - Garlic and onions: Can cause anaemia for both cats and dogs, even once cooked as part of a meal, so be wary of sharing left-overs with
    your pets.

How can John Lewis Pet Insurance help?

Your cat or dog is like part of the family - that’s why it’s important to know you can pay for their care if they fall ill or have an accident.

John Lewis Pet Insurance offers three levels of cover for vet’s fees – from £3,000 to £12,000 per year – so you can choose the right level for you and your pet. We’ll insure your cat or dog from as young as eight weeks and we’ll continue to insure them if they develop an ongoing condition, like arthritis, for as long as your policy is renewed with us and your premiums are paid.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

John Lewis Pet Insurance homepage

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Pet Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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