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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.

How to stop your cat spraying

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat siamese behaviour spraying Feliway

Q: My 14-year-old Siamese-cross cat Max has started to spray everywhere, especially if he cannot get his own way. What can I do?

A: Spraying is the most common behaviour problem I see in cats. As Max has not sprayed before, I'd get him checked by the vet to ensure there is no underlying medical cause for his sudden change in behaviour. Has anything changed recently in his environment that may have caused him anxiety? It's important to pinpoint the exact cause of the behaviour so it can be dealt with. Don't tell him off because this may escalate the problem. Obtaining a Feliway® spray from your vet may help too.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist

How Pet Blood Bank UK is saving dogs' lives

How Pet Blood Bank UK is saving dogs' lives
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog blood donor donate pet blood bank
Deirdre Vine tells the story of the country's first blood bank for pets - and explains how you and your dog can contribute. From the PetPeople magazine archiveBlood is precious. While scientific advances in developing blood substitutes have been made, real donors are still the only reliable source of blood for ill pets.So when the not-for-profit Pet Blood Bank UK (PBBuk) was launched nearly five years ago it was a huge step forward for UK dog owners: it meant vets had quick access to blood to treat critically ill dogs, rather than having to wait on donations being made, which often led to delays and loss of life.

How you see the world. How your dog sees the world. And the massive difference between the two!

How you see the world. How your dog sees the world. And the massive difference between the two!
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog smell senses sight hearing

You may have heard that dogs see the world differently. We had too. But when author Jennifer Arnold called and gave us her insights into just how differently dogs see the world, we were blown away. So we've asked Jennifer to give us her 'top five' dog-sense facts. Prepare to be amazed!

1. Dogs actually understand very few words. Instead they rely on our tone and body language to glean the meaning in our voices. They can detect less then a tenth of a millimetre of movement, allowing them to pick up the smallest change in our posture and demeanour.

2. Since dogs don't have language, they remember things by taking 'snapshots' or small clips of smells, sounds and sights. They can recall those clips when placing their current circumstances in context.

3. Your dog would fail his drivers' examination without glasses. Dogs are quite near-sighted. What humans can see from 80 feet away, a dog cannot make out until he is 20 feet away. They do, however, have better vision in low light for motion than do people.

4. Your dog sees detail poorly, much as you would if you looked through a lens smeared with cooking oil.

5. Dogs do see colours but not the wide and vivid spectrum that most people see. Dogs can see blues, yellows and many shades of grey, but not green or red.

Finally, while our dogs may not always see well, their sense of smell boggles the mind! Dogs can smell parts per trillion compared to our ability to smell only parts per hundred. This means that a dog could detect a single drop of vanilla in an Olympic-size, chlorinated swimming pool.

For more insights on a dog's-eye view of the world, see Through a dog's eyes: understanding our dogs by understanding how they see the world by Jennifer Arnold (published by Souvenir Press, £18.99).

For a £3 discount off the RRP, with free P&P, call 01235 827702.


Finally, if you have any stories about YOUR dog's amazing senses, just get in touch by commenting below.

Bumbles is back in good health

Bumbles is back in good health
Posted on by Petplan

When Stephanie Carrington's rescue cat Bumbles was diagnosed with asthma, Petplan ensured that her vet bills were covered...

My cat Bumbles has been diagnosed with feline asthma, and I'm so glad I went with Petplan for insurance.

I adopted Bumbles about nine months ago from Cats Protection - she had unfortunately been abandoned. She needed lots of love and attention to build her confidence back up, but she soon settled in and became part of the family. Bumbles was very happy but, as an indoor cat, she started to put on weight and was coughing. The vet confirmed that she had asthma.

Petplan were brilliant and helpful all the way, explaining everything to me and paying the vet directly, saving me £500 - and that was before Bumbles has even begun any treatment. She's now gradually losing weight and is a lot happier and more active. It's great to know that Petplan is covering her and will be there for any eventuality.

I wouldn't have been able to get Bumbles through the tests without Petplan. You've given me reassurance during a sad time that otherwise could have been an absolute nightmare.

Stephanie Carrington, via email

If you'd like to tell us your Petplan Customer Story, just email us at petplanblog@petplan.co.uk


Debate: are boy and girl pets really that different?

Debate: are boy and girl pets really that different?
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat dog pet gender stereotypes debate

Here's what Amanda Riley-Jones found in her recent report on gender stereotypes for PetPeople magazine. Let us know what you think by commenting below!

Q: Are boys really that boisterous? And are girls more affectionate?Many parents argue that boys are more energetic than their female peers. But what about animals?Dog trainer and psychologist June McNicholas says that the dogs and bitches she trains have the same energy levels, but cat behaviourist Celia Haddon says: 'I don't know of any scientific research to back this up, but I have a gut feeling that neutered males are more playful than neutered females. But maybe that is some sort of feline sexism in me! Perhaps I treat male cats differently, and that makes them more playful?'

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