#BestForPets Magazine - Edition #2 (Winter 2022)

Welcome to the second edition of #BestForPets magazine, brought to you by MiPet Cover and The Healthy Pet Club. This issue pounces into the New Year with some motivation to help you get moving and shaking. Why not have a go at running with your dog and enjoy the crispness of winter’s fresh air to blow away the cobwebs? Cats don’t miss out with ideas on how to get your kitty fitty with a few tips for feline fun and frolics. Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Keeping on top of our pet’s teeth and gums can really make a difference to their overall health and wellbeing. This bumper feature offers an in-depth lowdown on everything you need to know to care for those precious pearly whites. Don’t forget, if you have a Healthy Pet Club membership, your pet is entitled to a fixed price dental. As always, the #BestForPets Magazine team would love to hear from you. If you have any questions for the ‘Ask the Vet’ Q&A, fancy sharing your purrfect pet pawtraits or just want to let them know what you think, please send in your email to hello@mipetcover.co.uk.

Edition 02


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Pet Dental Health Month Top tips and advice for pawfect pearly whites

Feline Focus All about the Maine Coon Revealed The most popular puppy & kitten names from 2021

Brought to you by

Lifetime pet insurance


Welcome... to edition 2 of #BestForPets magazine, a publication packed full of advice, features and fun for both you and your pet. We’re pouncing into the New Year with some motivation to help you get moving and shaking. Why not have a go at running with your dog and enjoy the crisp fresh air in January to really blow away those cobwebs? Cats don’t miss out with our ideas on how to get your kitty fitty with a few of our furbulous frolics. Did you know that February is Pet Dental Health Month? Keeping on top of our pet’s teeth and gums can really make a difference to their overall health and wellbeing. Our bumper feature offers an in-depth lowdown on everything you need to know to care for those precious pearly whites. Don’t forget, if you have a Healthy Pet Club membership, your pet is entitled to a fixed price dental. As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions for our ‘Ask the Vet’ Q&A, fancy sharing your purrfect pet pawtraits or just want to let us know what you think, please do pop us an email at hello@mipetcover.co.uk . Stay furbulous! Rebecca Editor

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Click on the page title you’d like to read

Pet news Pawing the line: Top tips to help you start running with your dog Get your kitty fitty Ask the Vet Dental Health Feature Feline Focus: Maine Coons Pet Pawtraits Rabbit Feature Barking Breeds: Labradors Quiz

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Lifetime Flex Our comprehensive lifetime policy to suit your pet’s needs... and your budget Our LifetimeFlex cover includes: A choice of veterinary fee cover between £2,000 to £12,000 Complementary treatment as recommended by your vet

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Additional benefits including third party liability cover (dogs only), advertising & reward, holiday cancellation, boarding and kennel fees cover, emergency treatment abroad, and many more benefits

Problem cat Cover Stars Pet horoscopes Quiz answers

To get a quote, please visit mipetcover.co.uk

The #BestForPets magazine team Editor: Rebecca Gardiner Design: danidixondesign.co.uk Contributors: Rebecca Gardiner, Audra Shreeve, Linda Simon Clinical contributor: Shula Berg

*5% multi pet discount. Minimum premiums apply. Please see mipetcover.co.uk/multi-pet-insurance. MiPet Cover is a trading name of CVS (UK) Limited which is an appointed representative of Insurance Factory Limited. Insurance Factory Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 306164). Registered in England and Wales number 02982445. Registered office: Markerstudy House, 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB. You can check this by visiting the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk/register


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Have you seen our #BestForPets video?

Our video explains the differences between

Did you bring home a new puppy or kitten last year? As the nation named their new furry friends, we were keeping a close eye on the most and pup-ular puppy and purr-furred kitten names.

preventative health care and pet insurance… be prepared for cuteness overload!

Does your pet’s name feature on our top 10 lists from 2021?

Top 10 Boy Kitten Names

Top 10 Girl Kitten Names

Top 10 Boy Puppy Names 1. Teddy 2. Milo 3. Buddy 4. Max 5. Reggie 6. Loki

Top 10 Girl Puppy Names

1. Luna 2. Bella 3. Nala 4. Willow 5. Coco 6. Daisy 7. Lola 8. Tilly 9. Rosie 10. Molly

1. Milo 2. Loki 3. Simba 4. Leo 5. Teddy 6. Oreo 7. Charlie 8. Oscar 9. Max 10. Shadow

1. Luna 2. Bella 3. Lola 4. Daisy 5. Willow 6. Poppy 7. Ruby 8. Coco 9. Bonnie 10. Nala

7. Bailey 8. Hugo 9. Bear 10. Alfie

(Pets aged 12 months and under that visited a CVS veterinary practice between 1 Jan-30 Nov 2021.)

Whether you’ve decided on your new puppy or kitten’s name or not, why not start them off on the right paw with four weeks’ free Walkaway Cover*. This policy, designed especially for pets aged eight weeks to one year, is exclusively available from your local CVS veterinary practice.

*Kitten or puppy must be between eight weeks and one year old and is subject to a CVS veterinary health check. WalkawayCover is immediate for illness and accidents. Not all breeds of dog are eligible.



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Does your dog’s age matter? Puppies can cope with short bursts of activity but shouldn’t attempt longer runs while their bones are still developing. Older dogs can still exercise, but this will often be at a more sedate pace.

Pawing the line If you both feel ready to take part in organised events, there’s a number of doggy running communities and events that can help you develop your love for running together. Canicross organised trail running events which you can take part in with your furry friend. Your poochie pal stays connected to you with a bungee harness. Canicross claim that their events provide a physical workout for your dog and the use of directional commands will help them to learn to use their brain and build up his confidence. parkrun > is a free, timed 5k event taking place throughout the UK every Saturday morning, usually at 9am (9.30am in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Human participants are encouraged to register and bring their personal barcode every week when taking part. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a short lead. parkrun (or should we say, barkrun?!) is a fully inclusive event and can be a great way for you both to meet new two and four-legged friends. Dog Jog >

Training tips Whatever age your dog is, he or she should have successfully learnt how to walk and stay calm on a leash before you start running with them. Start slowly Build up your dog’s fitness and stamina gradually, even for energetic and boisterous breeds. Your dog’s paw pads are sensitive and will not cope well with the amount of distance being covered compared to normal everyday activities. Start off with shorter runs to let your dog get used to it and build up from there. Keep hydrated Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat to release heat. This can make it more challenging to know whether the pace and length of your workout is proving too strenuous for them. Look out for signs such as heavy panting, slowing down and limping. Keep your dog hydrated during a run, as well as before and afterwards.

Pawing the line Top tips to help you start running with your dog Running together can be a great way to build a stronger bond with your pet, but it’s not suitable for all dogs. Here are some tips for deciding whether it’s safe for you and your dog to run or jog together.

Check with your vet

Which dog breeds are best suited as running buddies?

Before you get started, let your vet know about your intentions. They’ll be able to confirm that it’s fine to go ahead with your plans based on your dog’s general health. This can be particularly important for older dogs and breeds that could experience issues while running. Your vet can also advise on the type of runs that are best suited to your dog’s breed.

is an easy way for you and your canine companion to meet other like-minded runners. The 5k event takes place throughout the UK during April to October. Dog Jog offers a relaxed, fun atmosphere with no times and no pressure.

Not all dogs are well suited to a gruelling run so it may be this that determines whether your dog can go running with you. Some breeds are better suited to shorter runs while others are ideal companions on longer outings. Terriers, retrievers and ‘working

dogs’ in general are perfect partners for long runs, for example.

Are you planning to get joggy with your doggy? For peace of mind, it’s always worthwhile having a dog insurance policy in place just in case.



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Try some wand toys Wand and fishing pole type toys can be great fun for your cat, especially for those who favour hunting and attacking games. Encourage your cat to run around after the toy to increase their activity and exertion levels but remember to let them win sometimes to avoid boredom and frustration. Check out this All For Paws Interactives Flutter Bug toy that’s perfect for all playful kitties promoting physical and mental exercise.

Have a go at feeding your cat with a foraging ball

Get your kitty fitty With pet obesity on the rise in the UK, it’s important to make sure that your feline friend

Instead of handing their food and treats to them on a plate, introduce a foraging ball (like this Catrine Catmosphere Dispenser Ball ) to make your cat work a bit harder for their meals. These are roughly the same size as a tennis ball and contain food. This will start to be released once your cat gets to grips with the ball and is a subtle way to encourage physical activity.

Get the timing right Trying to persuade your cat to exercise when they are really not in the mood is thankless and can potentially discourage your cat altogether. Most cats will have windows in which they are

is getting enough exercise and physical activity – even more so for indoor cats that are not venturing outside. If this isn’t currently the case, it can have negative effects for your cat’s quality of life. A lack of exercise can impact on your cat’s mental health and general wellbeing, as well as being a big risk factor for obesity and other health conditions. Playing with your cat for just 20 minutes per day can help him or her to get more exercise, become more stimulated and strengthen your bond. Many cats are quite reluctant to be active unless they are specifically encouraged, which makes exercise challenging. However, there are some ways that you can encourage your cat to become more active – even if he or she has not previously been very inclined to exercise. Check out our top exercise tips for cats.

Offer unrestricted access to toys Allow your cat to have access to their favourite toys in case they are in the mood for spontaneous solo playtime. Don’t leave the same toys out all the time though; they can quickly become uninteresting if they are always available. Instead, look to switch toys around on a regular basis to keep things fresh and fun.

Introduce a cat tower Cat towers with multiple platforms and levels can be useful for increasing your cat’s physical activity. It offers an ideal opportunity for your cat to climb and play,

more receptive to playtime. This will often be in the morning or evening.

especially if you use treats to encourage this. If you don’t have a huge amount of space for your cat to play in, these towers make great use of vertical space. If the tower includes a scratching post, even better! Take a look at the Cat Circus Deluxe Cat Scratcher Post for the best of both worlds.

Use laser toys Laser toys allow your cat to chase and attack a laser spot on the floor, which can be hugely stimulating and fun on a short term basis. The laser can be chased across the floor and even up a wall. However, there is potential for frustration too. With this game, your cat has no “real” toy to interact with and beat, and can quickly become bored. Following up with “real” toys can reduce this likelihood.



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My Cocker Spaniel has started to get quite gunky ears, especially when we’ve been out in the countryside for a walk – is this normal? Dogs with hairy, floppy ears like Spaniels are definitely more prone to dirty ears and often benefit from regular cleaning to keep on top of this. If this is a new problem I’d recommend a check-up with your vet initially so they can make sure there’s no infection, and check the

My cat never eats a full pouch of food and then demands more. I give him half a pouch at a time as he instantly regurgitates it if I don’t. He’s the right weight and size at 5kg, is he just greedy? Like a lot of us, cats can definitely suffer from having eyes bigger than their bellies! Feeding smaller meals is ideal to avoid it being wolfed down and brought back up, and some cats get on better with a dry diet. Slow feeder bowls can also help as they make it harder to eat quickly. If he’s vocalising and bothering you after having enough to eat consider initialising play or grooming him, as sometimes we just assume food is what they’re asking for.

ear drums are intact before you put cleaners down the ear. They can also show

you how to clean the ears effectively and recommend the right frequency.

My dog has started chewing the sofa and occasionally peeing on the floor whenever I go out. I’ve recently gone back to working in the office from working from home. I’m worried she’s missing me – is there anything I can do? This sounds like separation anxiety, probably due to a sudden change in routine. Your dog needs to learn that it’s OK to be on her own, though this can be easier said than done. Try leaving her for regular short periods, and using a radio for noise and distractions like stuffed Kong-type toys while you’re gone. If she’s chewing things that could harm her consider crate training. If she’s still struggling with being alone it’s worth seeking the help of an accredited behaviourist as the worse the problem gets the harder it will be to remedy, but with the right approach your dog can learn to look forward to some alone time!

I’m thinking of bringing my outdoor rabbit in over the winter months, but I’m not sure how best to go about it – do you have any advice? This is a great idea, especially if temperatures are due to drop. I’d recommend an indoor cage but it’s important to allow time out of this for your rabbit to run, jump and stretch. Most rabbits can be litter-trained meaning letting them have free run of a room is also an option. Rabbits are voracious chewers however, so make sure electric cables and houseplants are kept well out of reach!

Provided by Shula Berg



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Dental health BUMPER FEATURE

Brushing their teeth can be an easy and fun procedure (in some pets). It’s easier to start at the puppy or kitten stage as they will get used to it very easily. You need a very soft bristled brush (like a child’s or baby’s toothbrush) and pet toothpaste, which is usually meat flavoured. Do not use human toothpaste as it can be harmful if swallowed and usually pets don’t like that minty freshness much.

Daily removal of plaque is the key to healthy teeth.

Unless your pet’s teeth are brushed daily, plaque and eventually tartar will build up at the gum line. Infection then occurs, which loosens and destroys the attachment of the tooth.

What you can do to help…

Early detection Early dental problems can often be picked up by your vet when you take your pet in for an annual booster and health check. It’s much easier to treat an early case of gingivitis by scaling and polishing the teeth rather than waiting until your pet has severe dental disease, resulting in a much longer anaesthetic to remove teeth. Dental diets Dental diets are available, specially formulated to act like a toothbrush to help prevent tartar build up. Dental diets aren’t as effective as regular brushing, but can help keep teeth clean if used as part of their daily diet If their teeth have severe gingivitis or a deeper infection it’s important that your pet has a dental as a matter of urgency. The infected gums provide a source of bacteria, which can get into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, these bacteria can deposit in major organs such as the kidney, liver and heart valves.

Many cat owners complain about their feline’s cat-o-strophically bad breath. Unfortunately, most cats don’t have their teeth cleaned so the most common cause of halitosis (bad breath) is caused by bad teeth. Regular dental care can definitely improve your cat’s general health and wellbeing. Dogs can develop dental problems at any age and many over six years of age have some degree of dental disease. The problems can range from mild gingivitis where the gums look red, to severe periodontitis where teeth are covered in brown tartar and there may even be tooth root abscesses. Although our pets do not demonstrate dental pain like we do, there’s no doubt that they do get toothache. Although it might not stop them from eating, they’ll feel very uncomfortable with that dull ache. It’s surprising how much brighter and livelier your pet may become after a dental.

Consider a dental diet. In pets that won’t allow tooth brushing, the next best thing is a dental diet that’ll help control plaque build-up. Your vet can recommend a food that you can feed your pet to help keep their teeth clean.

There are many dental chews and treats available and these do help, but be aware that on their own they are sometimes not enough to prevent dental disease.

We’re here to help you do the best for your pet’s dental health and protection

You could save money on your pet’s dental care by joining The Healthy Pet Club . Members of the adult cat and dog club are entitled to a dental, scale, polish and minor extractions for one fixed price. To find out more visit thehealthypetclub.co.uk today. Did you know that MiPet Cover’s LifetimeFlex and 365Flex pet insurance policies cover dental treatment as a result of an accident or illness? (as long as your pet is up to date with their yearly dental check-ups and where any work recommended is carried out at your own expense).



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A step-by-step guide to brushing your pet’s teeth

What products will help you to look after your pet’s dental health?

Buy your tooth brushing kit (brush, finger glove and toothpaste) from your vet practice or find out which type they recommend. Never use human toothpaste. Your aim should be that your teeth cleaning sessions should be associated with a positive experience. Choose a time when your pet is comfortable and relaxed.


Logic Oral Hygiene Gel and Sachets > Avoid being clawed and gnawed with Logic Oral Hygiene Gel, a gel that’s great for pets that don’t like having their teeth brushed. The tasty gel is very palatable and can be applied directly to their mouth if they’re willing enough! Alternatively, apply onto their paw and they can lick it off.

Aquadent > Vet Aquadent is an anti-plaque solution containing xylitol which limits the formation of dental plaque and tartar. Simply add it to your pet’s drinking water to help freshen their breath as they drink. Banish bad breath for good!

Start getting them used to it as soon as you can. If you have a puppy or kitten, that’s great; if you have an older pet, follow the same tips… it might just take longer to achieve.



Take it slowly and keep sessions short. Stop while your pet is still happy.


Introduce the toothpaste on your finger and allow your cat or dog to lick it off.


After they have shown that they like the taste of the toothpaste, start to run your finger along the inside of their mouth.


Logic Orozyme Dental Chews for dogs >

Virbac enzymatic toothpaste kit > This kit contains enzymatic toothpaste which is mildly abrasive and contains the CET Dual Enzyme System designed to inhibit plaque forming bacteria. It does not need to be rinsed away after application and is safe to swallow. Mouth odours are quickly neutralised and your pawsome pal will certainly look forward to teeth brushing time with this poultry-flavoured treat!

Put some paste on the finger glove or the brush and allow your pet to lick the paste off. Don’t put the brush in their mouth yet.


Logic Orozyme Dental Chews for dogs are palatable beef and pork rawhide chews. They are made from collagen, a substance which naturally enhances the mechanical action of chewing on teeth and gums and assists in the removal of plaque. And what dog does not love chewy time?!

Once they’re comfortable with licking the brush/ glove, you can introduce the brush into the mouth. Start by targeting the front teeth, making circular movements and allowing frequent licks (so they are continuously rewarded).


Gradually as your pet accepts having the canines and incisors brushed, you can move onto the molars.


Vet IQ healthy bites dental treats for cats >

VetIQ Healthy Bites Breath & Dental Treats for cats and kittens are delicious duck-flavoured dual action treats which help prevent the formation of plaque, reduce tartar build-up and help keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy. Your cat gets a tasty treat whilst caring for their gums and teeth – it’s a purrfect win-win situation, we think!

It usually takes several weeks to gradually introduce your pet to brushing; go slow and introduce the next step every few days once they’re comfortable. If you can, concentrate on where tooth meets gum



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Maine Coons Large, affectionate cats that are highly intelligent

Orthopaedic Disease: Both Hip Dysplasia and Patellar

Stomatitis: Severe inflammation of the mouth and gums leads to bad breath and trouble eating. Owners may notice their cat is crying when trying to eat, running away from their bowl

Luxation can cause problems for the Maine Coon. Their large skeletons are under greater stress than their smaller cousins. Signs of musculoskeletal pain can include a reluctance to jump, a stiff walk and atrophy of the muscles over the hips and legs. X-rays can typically provide a definitive diagnosis. For most, their joint

and losing weight. Maine Coons of both genders can become affected at any age. Treatment consists of routine dental cleans, good dental hygiene at home, pain relief and strong anti-inflammatories. Severely affected cats may need full mouth extractions. This is a complicated procedure and can be costly. Deafness: All-white Maine Coons are the ones at risk for congenital deafness. Kittens are born deaf and their inability to hear becomes obvious when they are a month or two old. These cats won’t twist their ears towards a sound or react to a loud noise. There is no treatment and affected Maine Coons will be affected for the duration of their life. This puts cats at risk when they’re outside. As they cannot hear threats such as oncoming vehicles, it is important they are kept inside unless on a harness. Looking for Maine Coon Cat Insurance? Cats are full of surprises. Sadly, life can surprise us with an unexpected financial burden of a veterinary bill if our purrfect pals develop an unexpected illness or have an accident. Maine Coon kittens can benefit from four weeks free WallkawayCover kitten insurance . Find your nearest participating veterinary practice today. Kitten must be between eight weeks

Health Conditions in Maine Coons

Large, affectionate and highly intelligent, many Maine Coon cat enthusiasts lovingly refer to them as having ‘dog-like’ dispositions; they even love to play in water! However, we’re not too sure how the Maine Coon would feel about this description. Reaching weights of up to 8kg, this big-boned cat can grow to twice the size of the average feline. Their long, silky coat keeps them warm in the winter and comes in a range of colours including white, blue and black. While many have solid coat colours, it is also possibly for the Maine Coon to be a tabby, tortoiseshell or another pattern. Though highly social with people, this is not necessarily a lap cat. Maine Coons are friendly on their own terms and may feel more comfortable being in the same room as you than lying on your lap. As they’re tolerant of some cuddles, they are often a good choice for those with younger families.

inflammation is controlled with a combination of weight management, anti-inflammatories and pain relief. The cost of ongoing check-ups and blood tests will add up over the years. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: This rare genetic disorder causes muscle weakness and abnormal walking in kittens as young as three months of age. It is thought that affected cats are pain free but their gait will be affected for the rest of their life. Genetic tests are available to assess if a breeding cat is a carrier of this disease.

‘Moggy’ cats or Domestic Short or Long Hairs tend to enjoy the best health. This is because they have a wider gene pool and are less likely than pedigrees to inherit disease. Even so, the Maine Coon is known for being hardy and enjoying relatively good health. When it comes to the majestic Maine Coon, there are a number of medical conditions owners need to be aware of. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: When the heart walls thicken, it can no longer pump blood efficiently. While many cats will remain symptom free for years, others will be noticeably lethargic and may breathe rapidly. Medication is used to manage those affected. The prognosis is variable and, sadly, some cats will pass away suddenly. Polycystic Kidney Disease: Multiple fluid-filled cysts in a cat’s kidneys result in chronic kidney failure. Signs tend to begin in middle age and will include excess thirst and urination as well as weight loss and nausea. The disease will progress more slowly in some than others. While there is no cure, affected Maine Coons can be managed with diet changes and medication such as appetite stimulants and anti-nausea tablets.

to one year of age and is subject to a CVS vet health check. WalkawayCover covers illness and accidents instantly.

For adult Maine Coons, you can get a lifetime cat insurance quote online in a whisker, or call our friendly UK call centre team on 0808 164 8000. Get a quote >

Would a Maine Coon Cat be right for me?

These gentle giants love to spend time with people and remain playful well into their adulthood. They’re a vocal breed that does not like to be left alone for too long. Shower them with love and they’ll be your best buddy.



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Pet pawtraits













Elsa & Cfur

Monty & Carmen

Check out page 26 to find out how your pet could become our cover star or be included in our next edition’s Pet Pawtraits… there’s prizes up for grabs!


Trevor & Maude





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Rabbit health care We know that vaccination is important, but is this enough to keep our rabbits healthy?

Prevention is better than cure; rabbits should be kept clean and checked carefully twice daily. Topical treatments are available on prescription which can be applied to the back end every 12 weeks to help repel flies.


Parasite Control Worming Routine worming of rabbits is NOT recommended. If you think your rabbit has intestinal worms, speak to your vet as they will likely test a faecal sample.

Myxomatosis Myxomatosis infection causes swelling of the eyes and genitals, weakness, blindness and rapidly death. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and other biting insects, so both indoor and outdoor rabbits can be exposed. Infected rabbits also shed the virus on to their surroundings. Myxomatosis is very prevalent in the wild rabbit population and virus can easily be brought inside on shoes or clothing.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) VHD causes fatal disease including profuse bleeding. In many rabbits VHD causes “sudden death” without obvious illness first. Most of these rabbits are buried at home and not taken to the vet, so we suspect incidence of VHD is actually much higher than reported. VHD is also spread by biting insects as well as on objects including clothing and shoes. Two variants of VHD are able to be vaccinated against; VHD-1 and VHD-2.

Fly-strike Fly strike occurs when flies lay their eggs around the rabbit’s back end. Within 24 hours these mature into maggots which start eating the rabbits flesh. This often causes immense damage and can be fatal. Fly strike happens more often in warm weather, and in rabbits who have soiled fur (often due to poor diet, obesity or arthritis).



Correct feeding is essential for good rabbit health. Poor diet can lead to dental disease, obesity, gut stasis and malnutrition amongst other problems.

Mxyo, VHD-1 and VHD- 2 protection are now available in one injection. Depending on what your rabbit has had previously, two separate vaccines may be needed to ensure they respond correctly.



The perfect diet is composed of:



*See rabbitwelfare.co.uk for a great list of safe fresh foods to buy and forage!




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Epilepsy: For most Labs, their epilepsy starts before the age of five. They will have seizures for no known reason. It is important the vet rules out other causes of fits, which will entail a range of medical tests. A full work up can cost several thousand pounds, particularly if imaging of the central nervous system is required. Epileptic dogs can enjoy

Obesity: While being obese is not a disease in itself an obese Labrador is more prone to a number of diseases. These include arthritis, cancer, diabetes and elevated blood pressure. We should aim

Labradors The Gentle Giant with a Heart of Gold

for our Labs to have a Body Condition Score of 4 or 5 out of 9. When Labs are kept slim their entire lives, they are proven to enjoy better health. Thyroids: If the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, your Labrador may develops signs including chronic skin infections, sluggish behaviour and difficulty losing weight. Hypothyroidism is easily diagnosed with a blood test. Thankfully, this endocrine disease is easy to manage with daily medicine. However, the cost of medicine and ongoing check-ups and blood tests will add up through the years. Lipomas: These fatty tumours occur more commonly in over-weight labs. They will feel soft to the touch and will move around under the skin. They tend to grow slowly. Your vet may advise a fine needle aspirate to confirm he diagnosis.

a good quality of life as long as their seizures are well controlled with medicine.. Atopic Skin Disease: Ongoing itchiness and repeated skin infections may be caused by atopy or allergies. Labs can react to a range of allergens including dust mites, foods, pollens and grasses. The diagnosis and management of atopic skin disease is notoriously expensive, with allergy testing and immunotherapy costing several thousand pounds.

Health Conditions in Labradors

There are plenty of reasons why the Labrador is frequently classed as the most popular dog breed around. Not only are they affectionate, playful and devoted, they can be relied upon and are predictable. For families with children, this is an important attribute. A large breed with a stocky body, the Labrador weighs from 29kg to 35kg and reaches heights of 62cm. While they are prone to being over-weight, every Lab has the potential to be lean and slim. For many, the Labrador’s ability to get on with people, dogs and cats is one of their best attributes. However, it should not be assumed that all Labradors are social butterflies. We need to ensure they’re well socialised from a young age and have plenty of positive social interactions.

Despite their large size, many Labradors will live for eleven or twelve years. Sadly, many will have advanced arthritis by this stage and this can have a big impact on their quality of life. Read on to learn more about the health issues they can develop and what can be done to help them. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Abnormally developed joints cause chronic mobility issues and signs including lameness, reluctance to exercise and muscle wastage. Signs can begin in the Lab’s first year of life and worsen as they age. As the joints are not aligned as they should be, arthritis will develop. X-rays or CT scans will enable diagnosis. For some, surgical intervention can dramatically improve prognosis. For others, they are managed with ongoing pain relief and anti inflammatory medicine. It is also important that pressure is taken off joints by preventing obesity. Adjunctive therapies including canine massage and acupuncture should also be considered. Cancers: The Labrador is prone to a number of different cancers including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and mast cell tumours.

Looking for Labrador Insurance? As with any pedigree or cross-breed, it’s always a good idea to have a dog insurance policy in place to help with unexpected vet fees. If you’re introducing a Labrador puppy to your home, why now take a look at our four weeks’ free WalkawayCover * created especially for new pups aged 8 weeks to one year?

Dog insurance >

Excellent family pets Labradors are gentle giants with hearts of gold. They make excellent family pets and slot in well to most households. They can be prone to obesity, so owners must limit calories and take the time to ensure they are being well-exercised.

WalkawayCover >

* Puppy must be between 8 weeks and 1 year old and is subject to a CVS health check. WalkawayCover covers illness and accidents instantly. Not all breeds of dog are eligible.



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Percy the Poodle’s Puzzle Time

Spot the 5 differences

Can you find all the woofy words?




25 by 20 delta maze

Find the wool...

See page 29 for the answers

Copyright © 2021 Alance AB, https://www.mazegenerator.net/



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Aquarius (20 Jan – 18 Feb)

As Aquarius is the star sign of friendship, you never have a problem making a friend. For dogs, why not head on down to the local park and find a new pal to play with? Get involved with a fun game of ball or a happy little scamper around to find the best sniffs. For cats, have a go at challenging yourself by creating some new games… you could even get your friends at home involved? For some fresh ideas, pounce on over to pages 8-9 for inspiration.

Our resident moggy, who has requested they remain anonymous in fear of being stroked and fussed over in public, answers your pet’s dilemmas. To send in your woes, please drop Problem Cat an email on hello@mipetcover.co.uk . She might bother to answer. Or maybe not. You know what cats are like… Q Dear Problem Cat, I have a very claw Q Hi PC, I really need your help… every

scratching problem indeed – my human insists on sitting on my favourite spot on the sofa EVERY night. Do they not know that spot is my favourite?! I refuse to sit on their lap and share it out of my own dignity. Any help would be much appreciated. Ralph, Southampton A  Ralph, this one is soooooooooo easy. Cover it with plenty of fluff and fur to show them who’s boss. If they still don’t shift, just regurgitate a few hairballs and that should put them off. Ralph 1 – Human 0.

couple of days a loud, rumbling monster comes out of the cupboard and chases me all around the house – sucking up the bits of litter I’ve left around and making the house smell all gross and clean. I’m plagued by it, how do I make it stop? Fluffy, Edinburgh

Pisces (19 Feb – 20 Mar)

Pisces pets love their home life and creature comforts. You much prefer your humans to be close by, so maybe your dreams may come true and they might seem to be working at home a little more often again. As life has been a little topsy-turvy lately, you’re always there to offer a loving paw, a little head nuzzle or a be a comforting, caring lap warmer.

A  Sadly, Fluffy, our humans like their silly gadgets. The best advice I can give you is to climb to the highest point of your cat tower and give it an evil stare from high above. Now you go girl, show that thing who’s boss.

Aries (21 Mar – 19 Apr)

Cover Stars! Hey pets! We’re on the look out for social media cover stars and pet pawtrait participants. Please like our pages on Facebook and keep an eye out for our pet pic posts. Our cover stars and fave pawtraits will win a very special goodie bag.


Pets who have the ‘Aries the Ram’ star sign have bundles of forward-going energy and enthusiasm. Let the turning of the New Year bring you some fresh motivation to give life an almighty pounce into 2022. With your playful and boundless energy, why not see how many paw-steps you can achieve in a day? For dogs, you could try running or jogging with your two-legged friends. Find out how to get started on pages 6-7 .



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L A B R A D O R P O L I C B T V C X B A R K R U N H E O C A C W E R C Q N M E S O G N K L J W A G T Y W T T W I O K P O N W S A I F H A C D S E O I T R E E O B G R R O L F I C E E S R R G O E R T I W A S R T P U Y S W A G G T U I O I E S T S A W A L K I E S C T H A W L G W A L O M N K S Y I A S F B A K R J E P S S L D E N T A L G N S T Answers

Protect your rabbit with our tailored Rabbit Club

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Rabbits are prone to a number of health issues, including fatal diseases like Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, and parasitic conditions like flystrike.

With The Healthy Pet Club, you can be reassured your rabbit will be provided with the best preventative health care available to help them they stay protected and healthy.

When you join The Healthy Pet Club, your rabbit’s routine health care is covered, so you don’t have to worry. The following benefits are included:

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Save up to £200 a year *

Spread the cost of your pet’s vital preventative health care

Our plans for dogs, cats and rabbits ensure your pet is well looked after, whilst saving you money. As your pet goes through each stage of life, keeping up with their preventative health care is important to help them stay protected and healthy.

When you join The Healthy Pet Club, your pet’s routine health care is covered, so you don’t have to worry. The following benefits are included:

Join today >

* Savings are based on the cost of purchasing these benefits separately (taking average prices charged across a sample of CVS practices) which would result in an average annual saving of up to £200 (more for larger breeds). Benefits, costs and savings vary depending on the type and size of your pet.

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