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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.

Is your pet a porker? Here's what to do

Is your pet a porker? Here's what to do
Posted on by Petplan
We all love to spoil our pets, but a treat too many can cause the pounds to creep on - and even put their health at risk. Here's vet Alison Logan's advice on what to do. It's often said that owners look like their pets - and this can extend to the waistline, too. Since qualifying as a vet 19 years ago, I've seen an increasing number of overweight pets coming through my consulting room. Indeed, the 2007 Petplan census found that 30 per cent of dogs, cats and rabbits are obese, and it's fast becoming a problem with small furries and pet birds, too. We are told that ˜'we are what we eat', but we're also the result of what we do - and don't do. Our body is like a seesaw: energy input from the food we eat should be balanced by energy output. If we eat more than our body needs, then the excess energy is stored as fat and bodyweight increases.

Stop your dog mauling the mail

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog behaviour mail territorial behaviour

Q: My dog is attacking our mail and the letterbox. What can I do?

A: This is a very common problem with dogs, who are territorial creatures. They become aroused when they hear the postman arriving on ‘their’ territory and rush to the door to see the postman off, often grabbing at the mail and sometimes ripping it to shreds.

The quick and easy solution is to place a secure external postbox outside and as far away from the front door as possible, such as on a front gate, so that the postman does not need to come onto the property and your dog cannot see him. If this is not possible, then protect your letterbox with a wire cage (available from most DIY stores), or consider placing a dog gate across the hallway so that your dog does not have access to the front door area.

Is my rabbit eating too much?

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: rabbit eating obesity feeding

Q: My rabbit is looking a wee bit chubby. I was wondering if this is because we are letting him on the lawn to eat grass?

A: Or could it be that you have been feeding him a little bit too much? You would think that the extra exercise in your garden would make him lose weight, and grass is quite low in energy, so his other supplied foods play the major role in his weight gain.

Commercially prepared foods have far greater energy content, so should be used sparingly when supplementing with hay and grass. Just a very small handful is more than enough each day, allowing him to fill up on grass in your garden to keep his weight down and his teeth well worn and healthy.

Why cats love TV

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat behaviour television DVD

Q: Since we got a new HD-ready TV, our cat Porsche is fascinated with it, and David Attenborough’s wildlife programmes in particular. Why is that?

A: Like us, cats have binocular vision, but their eyes have adapted to enable them to cope with low-intensity light so that they can hunt at dawn and dusk. While they cannot see colour as well as we humans can, cats are stimulated by movement, and I suspect that Porsche is being stimulated by the moving animals she sees on the wildlife programmes.

There are now DVDs specifically for cats that feature a variety of eye-catching movements from insects, birds and mice, providing good stimulation for indoor cats.

Control your cat’s urge to scratch

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat behaviour scratching

Q: My cat is scratching the furniture. Should I tell him off?

A: NO! Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats for which they should not be punished. Temporarily cover your furniture with some plastic sheeting and place a sturdy scratching post in front of the area he has been using.



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