My dog was due her booster vaccination 2 months ago but I forgot. Will she need to start the course again?

Most vaccination against canine or feline diseases require an annual booster to ensure immunity levels are maintained above a certain level. Some dogs   will be immune for longer but we don’t know which dogs, unless we test for immunity levels regularly. So if you don’t test and don’t revaccinate, you   are accepting a risk that the vaccination will fail. You will probably get away with it if only lapsed by two months, so a simple booster will probably   suffice, but it is a risk. Ask your vet about the risk. For more information, see the vaccination factsheet.

My bitch is pregnant. How long are dogs pregnant for and when labour starts, will I need to do anything?

Bitches give birth after approximately 9 weeks. Most whelpings tend to be straightforward and the bitches are best left undisturbed in a quiet place to   let nature take its course. Things can go wrong and if you are worried, then take advice from your vet.

What happens if my pet gets sick during the night?

All vets must offer a 24 hour emergency service for their own clients either themselves or through a neighbouring practice with which they have an   agreement, or through a dedicated emergency service locally with which they have an agreement. So if you need veterinary advice at any time, then ring your   own practice and they will answer the phone or have a message on whom else to contact in an emergency.

I have just bought a new puppy. Do I need to register or enrol with a vet’s straight away or wait until I need to see a vet?

It is advisable to enrol your new pet soon after you obtain it, and we would recommend to get it examined even though it may seem perfectly OK to you.   This gives you the opportunity to discuss vaccinations, worming, diet, neutering, parasite control, behaviour, puppy parties and socialisation of your new   pet. Many vets will conduct a new puppy and kitten health check free of charge. Legally, to dispense any medicines including flea treatments and most   wormers, the pet has to be registered and usually clinically examined beforehand. You also get the opportunity to meet your local veterinary health care   team, and find out where to go and whom to ring if you have an emergency. Don’t delay, get registered today. Find out more about your new pet’s health   check at the Braid Veterinary Hospital.

My dog eats his faeces. Does it mean he isn’t getting the right vitamins in his food?

Eating faeces is virtually always just a bad habit and not related to diet. However a habit it may be difficult to break, so prevention is better than   cure. Take advice when your dog is just a puppy since this is when it usually starts.

My dog is overweight. Can this cause the same problems in dogs as it can in people?

Obesity is the commonest canine ‘disease’ and is becoming more prevalent. It may predispose dogs to certain diseases like diabetes and pancreatitis,   and ultimately decrease quality of life and reduce lifespan. This is a definite no-no ! However, obesity can result from some medical problems such as   underactive thyroids, so take advice.

My little 2 year old Yorkshire Terrier will only eat chicken. Is this OK?

A pure meat diet will lead to a calcium deficiency and a disease causing soft bone in both cats and dogs, so you must feed a balanced diet. This is best   achieved by feeding a good quality complete pet food, which are very palatable. You may need to be firm with your pet initially as it is set in its ways.   Consult one of the veterinary nurses, pet health counsellors or nutritional advisors at your local vets.

My dog keeps mounting cushions. What can I do to stop this embarrassing behaviour?

The simple answer may be to castrate a male dog, but mounting can be part of a complex behavioural disorder rather than simply ‘being over sexed’.   What is important is to snip this in the bud, so get advice quickly.

My dog has started to snap at me. Will he grow out of it ? He’s 9 months old.

If your dog has started to snap at you, then you must get advice at the earliest opportunity before the problem gets worse.

Can I cut my dog’s nails?

The best way to keep dog’s nails the right length is to give them lots of exercise. Exercise in fields makes them quite sharp and road work smoothes   them off. It is normal to hear nails clicking on the road or otherwise they wouldn’t wear down. This means that most dogs’ nails are not too long and   don’t need cutting. Take advice before cutting nails as it can be very painful and will bleed if you get near the quick.

My new puppy keeps scratching his ears. Should I worry?

New puppies and kittens often are infected with ear mites, which can cause your pet to scratch its ears. However often this is asymptomatic. It can be   treated quite easily by your vet so ask about this at your first vaccination.

How often should I worm my pets?

Some canine worm eggs can infect people, but the eggs need to mature so it isn’t the dog itself which is dangerous but where it has been to the toilet   if this has not been cleaned up. Worming dogs is for public health reasons and poop scooping is essential in your own garden and in public places. Worms   can also affect puppies and kittens as well as adult cats and dogs, and as a general rule, all dogs should be wormed every 3 months and cats every 6   months. Puppies and kittens will need worming more often and make sure you use an effective and safe wormer. Ask your vet about that.