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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      depression mood changes

      Could your dog have the winter blues?

      It’s normal for people to feel more down than usual at this time of year, but what about our pets? Certified clinical animal behaviourist Claire Hargrave answers our questions on doggy depression, and explains how best to care for your dog’s mental health. Plus, an owner shares the tricks she uses to keep her pets’ sadness at bay.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      fart

      Here’s why your dog farts and what you can do about it

      You’ve probably heard about a dog that can clear a room with his particular pong – in fact you might even own one! But what causes canine flatulence, and is it ever cause for alarm? Petplan vet Brian Faulkner has the answers on this embarrassing, and smelly, issue.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      communication

      Your body language through your dog’s eyes

      Has your pet ever become happy, excited or sheepish… before you’ve even said a word? That’s because dogs are as responsive to your body language as they are to your tone of voice. Here’s how your dog perceives those silent signals and how you can use them to help change his behaviour in positive ways.

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    • Vet's Corner

      cold symptoms cold treatment colds

      Does your dog have a cold?

      Winter usually brings on a case of the sniffles for most of us – but can your dog be affected in the same way? Petplan vet Brian Faulkner has the answers.

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    • Vet's Corner

      health vets

      Staying young at heart

      As dogs age, they slow down and become less responsive. Which means you need to get creative. Here, dog behaviour expert Sharon Bolt of good-dogs.co.uk suggests four gentle ways in which you can enhance the quality of your dog’s life in his golden years

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      personality changes

      Doggy personality changes

      As your dog gets older, he’s bound to change physically, but can his personality shift, too? Certified clinical animal behaviourist Claire Hargrave lists four changes that are common in dogs, and shares her tips for keeping your pet mentally healthy.

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    • Vet's Corner

      nutrition food healthy feed eating

      Puppy Food : 5 Steps for Healthy Eating

      Your puppy may look a lot bigger now than in his or her baby days, but your pet is still growing and needs a correctly balanced diet. Dr Marjorie Chandler, animal nutritionist, has compiled this guide to ensuring your pet gains all the nutrients needed to develop into a healthy, happy and energetic dog...

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      hump

      The embarrassing issue of humping

      Many dog owners will be familiar with the awkward scenario of their dog unexpectedly humping another dog, an inanimate object, or even a human leg. So why do dogs hump and should we do anything about it? Ross McCarthy, canine behaviourist of the London Dog Behaviour Company, answers some common questions on the subject

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    • Pet Life

      home safety

      Dog Home Safety

      Dogs like to chew all sorts of things given half a chance. Electrical cables, babies’ dummies and string are some of common items that can become stuck or cause problems to your dog’s digestive system. And other unsuitable objects such as slug pellets or chocolate can poison them. Vet Brian Faulkner explains the risks and the signs that your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have.

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    • Pet Life

      food poisonous healthy

      Puppy Home Safety

      Puppies like to chew all sorts of things given half a chance. Electrical cables, babies’ dummies and string are some of common items that can become stuck or cause problems to your puppy’s digestive system. And other unsuitable objects such as slug pellets or chocolate can poison them. Vet Brian Faulkner explains the risks and the signs that your young dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have.

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    • Vet's Corner

      vet visits health

      Getting to the clinic

      Visits to the vet can be a worrying time for both you and your dog. Older pets can be especially anxious, and one way that you can help ease anxiety is by helping your pooch to become comfortable with the journey to the clinic in advance.

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    • Vet's Corner

      vet visit health check-up

      How to make vet visits go smoothly

      The vet is one of the most important people in your puppy’s life so it pays to start the relationship on a positive footing and keep it that way. Animal behaviourist Claire Hargrave offers advice on how to make your puppy’s vet visits calm and stress-free – from the very first time.

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    • Vet's Corner

      vet visits check-up

      Preparing for vet check-ups

      Even a routine check-up at the vet can be stressful for your canine companion. Behaviourist Inga MacKellar discusses some preparation strategies that can help make those all-important visits less distressing for anxious dogs.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      peeing territory senior dog

      Senior Dogs Marking Their Territory

      From strange smells to health problems, there are many different reasons why dogs of all ages urine mark. Our animated video gives an insight into urine marking and why our canine companions do it.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      urine pee

      Why senior dogs urine mark

      Urine marking can prove a common problem for many dog owners. Behaviourist Inga MacKellar explains the reasons why older dogs might do it and offers some advice for tackling the issue where it’s unwelcome

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      language care

      Do you speak woof?

      From barking and growling to howling and whining, your dog has a wide and complex repertoire of sounds, and by varying their pitch and pace, he can convey many different meanings. How many do you understand?

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    • Pet Life

      walks exercise

      Dog Walking Reinvented

      Is your dog tired of the same old routine? How can you keep things fresh as well as suitable for his needs? Aileen Scoular explores some clever adjustments you can make to keep your dog moving.

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    • Pet Life

      holiday travel car journeys

      How to have a happy holiday with your dog

      Just as we can become less adventurous as we age, older dogs may be more reluctant to leave familiar surroundings than they used to be. Click on the map below to read some inspiring stories and tips from fellow owners that could help reignite that spirit of adventure.

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    • Pet Life

      travel what to take

      Travelling with your dog: an essential checklist

      Taking your dog on holiday with you can make your trip complete – but forgetting something vital for your pooch can make it a complete nightmare! We’ve compiled a list of travel items that are essential if you’re taking your dog with you on your break. Whether you’re camping or heading for a pet-friendly hotel, within the UK or abroad, these are the things you shouldn’t leave home without.

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    • Vet's Corner

      summer healthcare warm weather

      Seven summer healthcare tips for senior dogs

      Help your pet enjoy sunny days in safety and comfort

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    • Vet's Corner

      summer healthcare warm weather

      Seven summer healthcare tips for dogs

      Help your pet enjoy sunny days in safety and comfort

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      toilet training poo pee accidents

      Puppy Toilet Training

      Toilet training a dog may seem a daunting task but get it right and it sets the tone for the smooth running of the rest of your pet’s training. If your pup is still having a few accidents, read our trouble-shooting advice from pet behaviourist Claire Hargrave.

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    • Pet Life

      diet food nutrition

      Dog´s Diet

      Whether you own a picky Pug or a ravenous Rottweiler, you’re not alone in worrying whether your dog is too greedy, too fussy, underweight or overweight. Whatever the breed, you need to be in the know about your dog’s nutritional needs and eating habits to ensure maximum health and fitness, and a sleek body shape that’s not carrying excess weight. Veterinary surgeon Daniel Chan, senior lecturer and head of nutritional support service at the Royal Veterinary College, answers some common questions on canine diet and weight.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      dog language tail wagging

      Dog Tail Language

      What is your dog really saying when he wags? Canine body language can often be misinterpreted, and learning to read your dog’s postures and movements can help you to understand his moods and emotions, improving your relationship with him. Behaviour expert Ross McCarthy delves into the tale of the tail.

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    • Vet's Corner

      summer healthcare warm weather sun

      Keeping your dog safe in the sun

      Just like us, dogs can suffer from the effects of too much sun, with older dogs most at risk. Here, Zaila Dunbar, Petplan Vet of the Year 2012, has some advice for keeping your dog comfortable and well in hot weather.

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    • Vet's Corner

      skin cancer

      What you need to know about skin cancer in dogs

      The ‘C’ word is always a scary one, but the good news is that vets can often treat skin cancer successfully – as long as it´s promptly identified. We asked Petplan vet Brian Faulkner for his advice on preventing, spotting and treating this disease.

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    • Pet Life

      new dog settling in

      Bringing a New Dog Home

      It may be home-sweet-home to you, but if he or she has only recently moved in, your dog will need a little extra help from their new family to make them feel settled in their new environment. Give them a bit of time, lots of space, and plenty of strokes to help your new pet feel right at home.

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    • Vet's Corner

      check-up health

      Senior Dog Health Check

      As well as the annual dental checkup and booster vaccinations required by your insurance, it’s a good idea to have your dog looked at by the vet at least once a year. You can also play your part by regularly checking your dog’s eye, teeth, skin and joint health, as vet Brian Faulkner explains. These checks will help ensure that problems are detected and treated as early as possible.

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    • Vet's Corner

      illnesses instinct

      Doggy health: three reasons to trust your instincts

      Going with your gut feeling can be crucial when it comes to your dog’s health – especially as he gets older. Here, we share why not all changes should be dismissed as a part of ageing, and how important it is to act as you as you see symptoms.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas health

      Senior Dogs at Christmas

      Unsurprisingly, loud noises, festive foods and other temptations can all prove a bit much for older dogs at Christmas. Watch Rusty in our fun video, filled with useful tips on how to keep your canine companion safe and happy during the festive season.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      calming fireworks scared

      Three tried-and-tested ways to keep your senior dog calm during fireworks

      Have you ever wished you could ease your dog’s anxiety around fireworks season and the end of year festivities? We’ve reviewed three products that promise to help you do just that.

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    • Vet's Corner

      health check-up

      Puppy Health check

      As well as the annual dental checkup and booster vaccinations required by your insurance, it’s a good idea to have your dog looked at by the vet at least once a year. You can also play your part by regularly checking your dog’s eyes, teeth, skin and joint health, as vet Brian Faulkner explains. These checks will help ensure that problems are detected and treated as early as possible.

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      brush coat fur grooming

      Puppy Grooming

      How often you groom your puppy will depend on his or her coat, but it is an important part of every dog’s routine. As vet Brian Faulkner demonstrates, it can help you spot fleas, bumps and cuts as well as skin problems – and will also help you bond with your puppy.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      behaviour problems

      Dog Behaviour Problems

      If your dog has been rehomed or came to you past the puppy stage, they may still display some behaviour quirks. Dogs often share a honeymoon period with a new owner only to have a few wobbles later on. Pet behaviourist Claire Hargrave addresses common issues for owners in the first year with their dog.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      communication

      Do you speak woof?

      From barking and growling to howling and whining, your dog has a wide and complex repertoire of sounds, and by varying their pitch and pace, he can convey many different meanings. We look at the canine vocabulary and explain why barking at night is worth further investigation.

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    • Vet's Corner

      exercise health healthy

      Dog Exercise

      It may be cold out there, but the start of the new year is a great time to explore some fresh and energetic activities with your dog. The aim is to help keep him fit and in great shape (in case he’s piled on a few Christmas pounds!), while honing his natural talents. Kim Sullivan highlights five of the best activities to try out.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas health senior

      Dogs at Christmas

      Unsurprisingly, loud noises, festive foods and other temptations can all prove a bit much for dogs at Christmas. Watch Rusty in our fun video, filled with useful tips on how to keep your canine companion safe and happy during the festive season.

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      vaccination injection vaccine jab health

      Puppy Vaccinations

      Having your pup vaccinated in the first 12 months is vitally important. Knowing how to approach the issue can be confusing for a new dog owner, so follow our easy guide to the vaccinations, why they’re necessary and the myths that surround them.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      games playing

      Games to enrich your dog’s life

      It’s logical to think that as older dogs slow down, we should minimise their exercise or games. However, pet experts recommend you do exactly the opposite: playing can help your pooch’s brain stay young and keep age-related problems at bay. Read on for our top advice on the enrichment activities that can help your dog enjoy life to the fullest.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      behaviour problems naughty

      Puppy Behaviour

      When your dog reaches his or her ‘teenage’ years, a few behaviour issues might creep in. Pet behaviourist Claire Hargrave addresses some common problems.

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    • Vet's Corner

      parasites pests fleas ticks

      Dog parasites

      Welcoming a new dog into your home can also lead to other not-so-welcome visitors. Parasites can lead to serious health problems so you should quickly establish a prevention regime. Vet Brian Faulkner describes the most common parasitic infestations and how to manage them.

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    • Vet's Corner

      parasites fleas ticks

      Puppy parasites

      Parasite problems can be experienced even when your dog is very young, says vet Brian Faulkner, so it’s crucial to start a regular prevention regime as soon as possible. Here is a reminder of the most common parasitic infestations and how to manage them.

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    • Vet's Corner

      grass seed injuries allergies

      Grass Seed Injuries in Dogs

      Most dog owners will have experienced the issues that the seasonal nasties grass seeds can inflict on our canine friends. Petplan Vet of the Year 2013, Laura Pugh, provides the low-down on what they are and explains how something so small can cause a rather big problem.

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    • Pet Life

      food nutrition diet feeding

      Senior Dog Food

      Why is it that pet food manufacturers make a distinction between adult and senior pet food? Nutritionist Marjorie Chandler explains the importance of getting your dog’s diet just right.

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    • Vet's Corner

      outside outdoors safety

      When Can Puppies go Outside?

      It should be at least two weeks after the second set of vaccinations before you let your puppy outside for the first time. Ideally, introduce them to the outdoors in an enclosed space or garden, which has been checked for potential hazards. Then, you’re all set to venture into the big world – just take it slowly as our video demonstrates.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      drinking habits

      Changes to drinking habits

      There are some things that you may not think to mention to your vet – your dog drinking more or less than normal is one such thing. But Petplan vet Brian Faulkner says that if your dog’s drinking habits noticeably change with age, you shouldn’t ignore it. Here, he outlines three common health conditions related to changes in drinking habits.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      training behaviour

      Puppy Training

      Getting your dog well trained can help establish a rewarding relationship. It’s also crucial for their safety. Pet behaviourist Claire Hargrave offers her top tips.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      recall training

      ‘Here, boy!’ – how to improve your dog’s recall

      Does your pooch have perfect hearing – except when it comes to his name? Our expert explains what recall training entails and why it’s so important. Plus, we outline three steps to help ensure your dog will soon be bounding back to you on command.

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    • Vet's Corner

      health check-up senior

      Dog Health Check

      As well as the annual dental checkup and booster vaccinations required by your insurance, it’s a good idea to have your dog looked at by the vet at least once a year. You can also play your part by regularly checking your dog’s eye, teeth, skin and joint health, as vet Brian Faulkner explains. These checks will help ensure that problems are detected and treated as early as possible.

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      cancer illness disease heartworm

      Doggy health: three reasons to trust your instincts

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your dog could tell you that he wasn’t feeling well? Instead, you need to go with your gut whenever it seems as if your pet may be off-colour. Here, we share a real-life story and three reasons that show how important it is to follow your intuition and take action straight away.

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    • Vet's Corner

      brush coat hair grooming

      Dog Grooming

      How often you groom your dog will depend on his or her coat, but it is an important part of every dog’s routine. As vet Brian Faulkner demonstrates, it can help you spot fleas, bumps and cuts as well as skin problems – and will also help you bond with your dog.

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      fleas sting parasite bite

      Preventing and treating bites and stings

      Summertime means longer days and more time spent outdoors on walks, or playing with your pooch in the garden. However, it also increases your dog’s chances of coming into contact with a range of biting beasties. Follow our expert tips to lessen the sting – or itch!

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      fireworks calming scared

      Three tried-and-tested ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks

      Have you ever wished you could ease your dog’s anxiety around fireworks season and the end of year festivities? We’ve reviewed three products that promise to help you do just that.

      Read more
    • Pet Life

      Christmas presents gifts DIY Xmas

      DIY Christmas gifts for your dog

      Christmas can be an unsettling time for dogs, especially as they get older. Make the festive season special for your pooch with these safe and easy-to-make presents.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas present gifts Xmas

      What I´d buy my dog for Christmas

      How better to celebrate the joy that your pets bring you, than by giving them a festive treat? To help you find the perfect present, we´ve asked two experts for their top recommendations on fun, safe and enjoyable gifts for your furry friend. Plus, an animal nutritionist weighs in on the best edible end-of-year indulgences.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas presents gifts Xmas

      What I'd buy my dog for Christmas

      How better to celebrate the joy that your pets bring you, than by giving them a festive treat? To help you find the perfect present, we´ve asked two experts for their top recommendations on fun, safe and enjoyable gifts for your furry friend. Plus, an animal nutritionist weighs in on the best edible end-of-year indulgences.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      behaviour changes

      Why Does Dog Behaviour Change?

      What does it mean when your dog starts acting a bit out of character? Behaviourist Inga MacKellar highlights three common behaviour and personality changes that may occur as our canine companions age.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      activity monitor exercise health

      Can an activity monitor help keep your dog healthy?

      Exercise is one of the best ways to ensure your dog’s wellbeing throughout his life – but how can you tell if he’s getting enough, or whether he might be overdoing it for his age? To see if technology can help you to find the right balance for your pet, we put a PitPat activity monitor to the test.

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    • Vet's Corner

      arthritis

      Arthritis in Dogs

      Arthritis (the inflammation of one or more joints) is common in both humans and dogs, especially as we age. Vet Brian Faulkner explains what arthritis is, how to recognise the signs and how it can be managed.

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    • Vet's Corner

      health check-up

      Dog Health

      Having a new dog in your home brings happiness, as well as a host of responsibilities for their wellbeing. Be sure you know the key health tips that will keep your dog in the best condition and on track for a long life...

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    • Vet's Corner

      dog health weight obese

      A Healthy Weight

      Keep track of the healthy weight for your pet by watching the body-conditioning scoring video below – you should be able to feel your pet’s ribs and see their waist. Carrying too much weight can lead to problems such as arthritis or diabetes.

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    • Vet's Corner

      teeth dental

      Puppy Teeth

      Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will help prevent painful dental problems later on. But it needn’t be a chore and can actually be an enjoyable time for both of you. Vet Brian Faulkner explains how to do it.

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