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Welcome to Petplan’s blog, a space where you can read up on the latest pet-news, find out interesting facts and tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy, and share your views on hot topics.

Going abroad? How to choose a kennel, cattery or petsitter

Going abroad? How to choose a kennel, cattery or petsitter
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat dog holidays cattery kennel petsitter
Continuing the holiday theme, vet Marc Abraham discusses the options for the care of your pet if you go away during the summer

Last week, I wrote about holidaying in the UK with your pet. But if you do find yourselves holidaying abroad this year and must leave your pet behind, you'll want to know that they're safe and happy until your return. But who's trustworthy enough to care for your beloved pet, giving you piece of mind while you're sunning yourself on a beach hundreds of miles away?

Five things you should never feed your dog

Five things you should never feed your dog
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat dog diet cats dogs
Here's PetPeople vet Alison Logan's top five no-nos when it comes to your dog's diet:1. Chocolate should never be given to dogs, and must be safely stored out of their reach. Dogs are very sensitive to the theobromine found in chocolate because they can't break it down efficiently. Signs of toxicity occur within twelve hours of eating the chocolate, and include diarrhoea, vomiting, excitement, seizures and coma. The amount of chocolate eaten to cause a problem depends on both the size of the dog and the level of theobromine found in the chocolate. The theobromine dose increases with the cocoa level, so cocoa beans and powder, dark and continental chocolate have higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate, and white chocolate has the lowest. 2. Dogs are really partial to cat food, primarily because of the high protein content, but it is no good for them in the long term. They are different species

Are you planning a 'staycation' with your pet?

Are you planning a 'staycation' with your pet?
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat dog holidays travel cars
More and more people are choosing a summer holiday here in the UK rather than heading abroad - and many will take their beloved pets with them. Vet Marc Abraham offers some tips for trouble-free travel

Pudsey: another in a long line of pet stars

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog pudsey

You can't throw a stick without it being chased by a talented animal these days. Pudsey from Britain's Got Talent is yet more proof.

In the last year we've seen pets pick up various accolades for their work in entertainment – even the hardest of hearts have melted at the sight of Uggie faithfully supporting his struggling owner in The Artist and Cosmo losing his best friend in Beginners.

Palm Dog winner Uggie is a veteran of the film world (he's appeared in many films including Water for Elephants and Mr Fix It) but was rejected by his first owner for being too wild. His fearless nature is what makes him good on set, his owner, Omar von Muller, believes. How does he get Uggie to perform so well? It's simply a matter of trust. 'He's like family, and it's all about having fun,' von Muller explains.

It's not just dogs taking starring roles, of course. 11-year-old thoroughbred gelding, Finder, caused many a tear to fall for his emotive performance in War Horse. Finder is an old hoof at acting. His credits include starring roles in Seabiscuit, The Legend of Zorro and Unstoppable. And again, it is the relationship between animal and owner that produces the result. 'Horse whisperer' Bobby Lovgren enjoyed working with Finder so much while filming Seabiscuit, he bought him from the film's producers. Lovgren describes their relationship as being 'like dancers' and it's almost impossible to detect his directions, which the horse interprets faultlessly. Finder, too, can be a bit wild.

And now there's Pudsey, winner of Britain's Got Talent. He and his owner, Ashleigh Butler, will soon perform for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance. Ashleigh was given Pudsey for her 11th birthday, six years ago and their shared love of performing is palpable. Pudsey began with agility training at 12 months old and progressed to 'canine freestyle', in which he clearly excels. Since Saturday evening, Pudsey has gained an agent, a book deal - and a very bright future.

Pyometra: what to look out for

Pyometra: what to look out for
Posted on by Petplan
Continuing on a reproductive theme, vet Marc Abraham looks at an extremely common life-threatening condition that affects unspayed female dogs, yet is easily preventablePyometra - literally pus in the womb' - presents with a range of signs, from the obvious (thick creamy pus discharging from the vulva) to the subtle (loss of appetite)
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