Feeding Your Pet
We recommend your pet is fed a good quality complete diet designed for your pets’ age and lifestyle.
When you first bring your puppy or kitten home, it is a good idea to stick to the feeding regime that they are used to. This should help smooth the transition into your home. We would then recommend that you choose a good quality complete food that is designed to meet the nutritional needs of your pets age and lifestyle.
To change from the original diet to the new one, you should gradually introduce the new diet over a minimum of five days, by increasing the new diet gradually, whilst at the same time reducing the old. After a week or so of doing this your pet should be eating the new complete diet happily.
It is essential to feed a food that is matched to your pet at each stage of its life. The table below outlines a good feeding regime.
Dogs that will reach an adult weight of more than 25kg should be fed a large breed diet throughout their lives.
Pets should not have their food left down all day as this encourages snacking behaviour and obesity. Also on hot summer day’s food can become stale or contaminated. In order to prevent this the food should be offered for 10–15 minutes only. If in this time the food is not eaten, then it should be taken away and placed in a refrigerator or disposed of. Your pet will soon learn that food is only available at certain times of the day, and only for short periods of time and eat their food readily.
Fleas & Ticks
We recommend using a regular external parasite treatment to keep your pet and your family protected.
Fleas can be irritating and painful for your pet and your family, but they can also cause more serious problems:
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
- Transmission of tapeworm
- Blood loss and anaemia in puppies and kittens
- Transmission of other blood-borne diseases
By the time your pet starts scratching, there could already be an infestation in your home – and infestations can be hard to resolve. Preventing the event with a spot-on treatment is the best solution.
Ticks are uncomfortable and annoying for your pet which leads to your cat or dog trying to rub or scratch the tick off. But these are minor irritations compared to the other problems ticks can cause:
Ticks often cause skin reactions because of the way they attach to your pet
If a live tick is removed there’s a risk of leaving their mouthparts in place – the embedded mouthparts act as a foreign body and can cause a granuloma (benign lump) or an abscess
Ticks are second only to mosquitoes in their ability to transmit diseases to humans and animals.
Lyme disease – affects humans as well as dogs and rarely cats. In dogs it may cause fever, lethargy, arthritis and occasionally skin disease.
Anaplasmosis – rarely diagnosed in the UK but symptoms include fever, reluctance to move and general malaise.
Examine your pet regularly and particularly after they’ve been in areas that are likely to be tick infested, such as parkland, moorland and woodland. Apply a spot-on preventative treatment.
At Holmefield we recommend regular worm treatments to protect your pets and family.
Worms are parasites that can live inside your pet, often without you knowing. Worms left untreated can seriously endanger or even result in the death of your pet. Some worms can pass from pets to people through grooming, stroking and the environment.
Children, the elderly and those with reduced immune systems are most at risk. Whilst most human infections cause only minor symptoms, rare cases can lead to serious conditions such as blindness and epilepsy.
We recommend that puppies and kittens are treated monthly until they are six months old and then every three months thereafter.
If you have children, elderly people or someone with a reduced immune system in your household you may choose to worm your pet monthly as they are at greater risk from infection. Dogs and cats that scavenge may also need to be wormed monthly.
We stock a range of reliable wormers with proven efficacy - contact us to discuss the best treatments available for your pet.
Reducing Stress for Cats
We recognise that for many cats visiting the practice, regardless of whether it is for routine treatments or during times of illness, this can be a stressful experience. We have a number of measures already in place within our surgeries to try and reduce this stress and are introducing design features within our Brayton waiting room during the course of our current renovations to make the environment more ‘cat friendly’.
However, the stress for cats begins well before they arrive at the surgery!
As soon as the cat basket appears in the house (often having been safely out of sight in the shed or the garage since it was last used for a trip to the vets or the cattery), most cats will recognise that something fishy is going on. Factor in the inevitable struggle to persuade the cat to get into the basket and then the trauma of a car journey, by the time they arrive at the surgery they (and probably you) are already wound up.
There are some simple things you can do along the way that will really help to keep your cat calm and reduce their anxiety.