#BestForPets Magazine Edition #4 (Summer 2022)

Edition 04 - Summer 2022

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Magazine

Linda

Dog friendly beaches Where will you make a splash?

Rufus

Too hot to hop Top tips to keep your rabbit cool Cool for Cats Top tips for a purrfect summer

Drift

Brie

Norton

Mya

Badger

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Contents Click on the page you’d like to read Pet news When it’s too hot to hop Pet pawtraits No more hot dogs Should my pet have regular health checks? Cool for cats Oooops I swallowed a Kong Ask the vet Bow-wow beaches Feline Focus: The sacred cat of Burma Pet pawtraits Understanding your pet’s ‘Body Condition Score’ Horoscopes Barking Breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier Supporting a child facing the loss of a pet Percy’s Puzzle Time Pet pawtraits Problem cat Percy’s Puzzle Time answers

Welcome... to edition 4 of #BestForPets Magazine, your free digital magazine that is packed full of helpful advice, fun features and lots of pics of your furry friends. We spring into summer with a focus on helping our beloved pets to cope when the temperatures rise. Will your pooch cool down in the waters of one of the UK’s dog-friendly beaches? Why not check out our tips on keeping your feline friends feeling fine when the Fahrenheits go up? Guest writer Charlotte also has some tips on how to help our hopping buddies feel comfortable during warmer spells of weather. If you posted a pic of your pet on the MiPet Cover or Healthy Pet Club Facebook page, you may spot them in one of our pet pawtraits galleries. If you’d like to get your pet involved, please ‘like’ our Facebook pages for news on future competitions… you could win an exclusive goody bag! The team at #BestForPets Magazine wish you a pawfect summer! Rebecca Editor

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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plus much more...

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The #BestForPets magazine team Editor: Rebecca Gardiner Design: danidixondesign.co.uk Contributors: Audra Shreeve, Holly East, Linda Simon, Christina Brazzale, Abbie Thompson, Shelley Davies, Charlotte Puddephatt Clinical contributor: Shula Berg

Join today >

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Is your pet covered? The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently released a report about the costs associated with pet insurance claims. Did you know that the average claim has now increased to £848, a jump up from £817 the previous year? Many consumers are making cut backs to their expenditure in the current climate, but sadly, this means that their furry friends are then at risk of having no protection in the event of an unexpected illness or injury. As there is no NHS for pets, this is something to consider when reviewing your finances.

Are you on TikTok, the social media rabbit hole of video content? We’ve recently launched our channel @thehealthypetclub , and we’re ready to share some great pet advice with you. Please let us know about any pet topics you’d like us to cover and then ‘watch this space’! The Healthy Pet Club pounces onto TikTok Around the Coast Challenge Throughout the month of May, many pet lovers took part in the Pet Blood Bank’s Around the Coast Challenge , covering off 11,232 miles in walking, running, swimming and cycling to raise vital funds. Every year, Pet Blood Bank travels thousands of miles to run donation sessions across the country. This blood is then returned to the blood bank where is it processed before once again continuing its journey, travelling many more miles to the vet practices where it is needed for critically ill pets. To find out more about the important work they do, visit petbloodbankuk.org

The average claim to treat a pet is £848

Source: ABI 2022

Calling all vet professionals of the future!

If you’re aged between 5-11, scamper on down to your local participating CVS practice to join in with our MiPet Club. This mini toolkit offers youngsters help and advice on animal care and wellbeing, as well as taking kids on a journey with their pet by completing cool challenges and collecting badges. Keep an eye on our social media for ways to get involved… there might be some pretty pawsome prizes up for grabs!

Coming soon to participating vet practices

MiPet Cover Commended at the MoneyFacts Consumer Awards Pet insurance provider, MiPet Cover, scooped the Commended award at this year’s MoneyFacts Consumer awards. Thank you to every policyholder who showed their support in helping to achieve this prestigious industry accolade. These awards are decided by consumers and celebrate providers that offer the best products and services across family, household and personal finances.

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Rabbits regulate their body temperature through their ears. Help them to stay cool by frequently dampening their ears with cool water. This can be done by either using a damp flannel or a gentle spray bottle. Top Tip

When it’s too hot to hop

Tunnels

Umbrella

Carrier cases

What are some good ways to provide shade for my rabbit? You could try some of these practical options:

Bunny enthusiast and owner, Charlotte Puddephatt, delivers some practical hints and advice for when it comes to keeping your rabbit cool through the summer months.

Hideouts

Cardboard boxes

Can rabbits tolerate hot weather? A rabbit’s ideal environmental temperature is 12-21 o C, but rabbits can tolerate heat up to 30 o C with the right care and husbandry techniques. If temperatures rise above 30 o C, rabbits can be at risk of suffering from heat stroke, which can be fatal, so important measures will need to be taken to prevent this. How can I help my rabbit stay cool? To help a rabbit stay cool, one of the best methods is to provide them with shade. Also, providing them with cold objects is another successful way to help a rabbit stay cool, for example, providing them with frozen water bottles for them to lay next to (always wrap frozen items in a towel to avoid ice burns from direct contact), cold slabs of concrete for them to lie on and cool mats. For indoor rabbits providing them with a rotating fan can also help to keep them cool.

What are the health risks if my rabbit gets too hot? If a rabbit gets too hot, they are at risk of suffering from heat stroke. It’s important to take them to a veterinary surgery as soon as possible if heat stroke occurs so that they get the correct medical treatment that is needed. Common signs include drooling, very fast breathing, excessive lethargy and collapse. Heat stroke can be fatal even with quick treatment, so prevention is much better than cure! As mentioned previously, rabbits can tolerate hot weather but if they get too hot then this can also cause them to become stressed. Therefore, it’s important to provide them with the correct care and enrichment to help them be comfortable.

Bed sheets or thin and light-coloured blankets (can be hung and placed in the right areas to provide shade)

Do rabbits need prescription medication during the hot weather? Keeping your rabbit up to date on parasite treatment is recommended during hot weather as this can help to prevent other emergencies such as flystrike. This condition progresses very rapidly so rabbits should be checked twice daily through the warmer months for signs of fly eggs or maggots. Also, if a rabbit is overweight or geriatric, they may struggle to groom themselves properly, making them more appealing to flies; this is another flystrike risk.

Did you know?

A membership to The Healthy Pet Club’s Rabbit Club can help you to take care of your rabbits everyday health care and needs. Their plan will include all flea and worming treatments, Rearguard to help protect against Flystrike and other amazing benefits such as their annual vaccinations and important health checks. Find out more about the Rabbit Club >

Medications can be prescribed by your veterinarian to help protect your rabbit.

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Pet pawtraits

Maggie

Billie & Harley

Jellybean

Aura

Archie

Ada

Bert

Basil

Chloe

Carlos

Badger

Bailey

Moon

Billy

Linda

Daisy

Check out page 41 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!

Chase

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All For Paws Chill Out Fresh Breeze mat This cooling mat will be the perfect place for your dog to lay on during hot summer days. With its plastic noodle mattress it keeps the air flowing under your dog. The springy plastic noodle also make the mat more comfortable for total happiness.

No more hot dogs

Click products to view online

All For Paws Chill Out Splash and Fun Dog Pool

Pawfect picks for a cool summer

Your dog can enjoy splashing around for hours in this pool. Made from extra tough PVC and with an anti-slip bottom, you won’t have to worry about accidents or leaks.

All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana This bandana is a great way to protect your dog from heat stroke and the stylish splash design means they’ll look trendy at the same time!

All For Paws Chill Out Cooler Bowl

We love sunny summer days and spending time outside with family and friends. But if you’re covered in fur, the hot temperatures can mean your pooch is not so ‘cool canine’, but more ‘hot dog’. To help make the warmer months more manageable for our canine companions, we’ve created a list of goodies that you can get your paws on to help them ‘chill’. If you’re concerned about your dog during spells of warm weather, please seek advice from your vet in the first instance.

This bowl is great for keeping your dog’s food cool and fresh during the summer.

With these cooling products, you and your dog can enjoy the warmer weather together. You can find out more in our ‘Cool Dog’ blog >

All For Paws Chill Out Strawberry Ice Cream This is a great toy for keeping your dog cool and hydrated in summer. After being soaked in water the sponge inside will absorb the water releasing it as your dog plays.

Animed Direct is offering a 5% discount on the following products: Animate Cooling Dog Coat; All For Paws Chill Out Fresh Breeze mat; All For Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana; All For Paws Chill Out Strawberry Ice Cream; All For Paws

Save 5% on cooling products for your pooch this summer!

Animate Cooling Dog Coat Specially developed for warmer months, this coat keeps your dog 6-12 degrees cooler during high temperatures. It’s easily adjustable with chest and stomach straps and comes in a handy moisture-retaining bag, perfect for travelling.

Chill Out Cooler Bowl with code MIPET5 . This voucher code can only be used once per customer and expires on 3-Aug-2022.

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What happens during the appointment? The nurse or vet will ask you how your pet is getting on at home and whether you have any concerns such as a change in eating or drinking habits, change to exercise routine, or unusual behaviours.

Should my pet have regular health checks?

They will greet your pet and assess their general demeanour and condition, often by watching them interact with their surroundings in the clinic.

They are likely to then look more closely at a few key areas:

Weight It can be difficult to notice changes in weight at home, especially if they happen gradually. Small things like a drop in exercise can make a big difference. Your pet will be weighed on the scales and their weight recorded, as well as having a body condition score performed. This involves feeling over the ribs and waist, and accounts for growth better than just a weight.

Just like us humans, we need to keep tabs on our general health with medical check-ups at our local doctors’ surgery. It’s the same thing for pets, except they can’t tell us if they think they have any ailments or conditions. This is why it’s important to take your pet to your local practice every six months to be sure that they are happy and in good health.

If you’re a member of The Healthy Pet Club , your pet is entitled to a six month health check in addition to their annual vaccination appointment each year. The majority of six month health checks are with a qualified veterinary nurse, but you may see a vet depending on individual clinic staffing. Why is a six month health check important for my pet? We tend to only go to the doctors if we are ill, but our pets cannot tell us if they feel unwell and any signs may be subtle or even absent at home. A pet with no obvious medical problems may only be checked yearly during their vaccination appointment. By adding a check half-way through the year, your pet’s health can be regularly monitored and you can receive advice about ways to keep them in great shape and detect any early signs of disease.

If your pet is under or over-weight, the nurse or vet will advise you on a suitable feeding and exercise plan to keep your pet healthy.

Find out more about Understanding your pet’s ‘Body Condition Score’ >

Mouth Dental disease is the most common medical condition seen in pets, and affects animals as young as three years old. In the early stages, although gums are inflamed and tartar is visible on the teeth, most pets show no outward signs of the discomfort this causes. During the six month check, your pet’s mouth will be examined and any dental disease identified. Home care is essential for reducing progression, and the nurse or vet can help explain how to get your pet used to tooth brushing and the best products to use.

Shula Berg explains what to expect at your pet’s six monthly health check appointment…

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Give your puppy or kitten the best start in life

Grooming During the appointment, the nurse or vet will check for excess ear wax, matted hair in the coat and overlong nails, all of which can be uncomfortable for our pets.

Parasite control Regular flea and worming treatment keeps your pet and your family safe from harmful parasites, and is included in the benefits of a Healthy Pet Club membership. At the six month check, the nurse or vet will check your pet’s personal parasite treatment plan, making sure it includes the best products for them and the right doses. At this time, a repeat prescription can be dispensed, if needed.

Our Puppy and Kitten Club helps you, as a new pet owner, have all the tools to hand to give your pet the best possible care in their first year. As a member, you can make great savings on treatments, pet food and vet bills, as well as many more exclusive benefits to help your pet stay happy and healthy. Join The Healthy Pet Club today and have peace of mind that your new pet’s healthcare is covered, so you don’t have to worry.

The following benefits are included:

What happens next? Most of the time, following your pet’s health check, you’ll leave your vet practice reassured that your pet is in good health. Sometimes recommendations for diet or exercise changes are made, and a follow-up visit may be advised in a month or two. Occasionally the check may highlight a problem, in which case you will likely be referred to an appointment with a vet for further investigations.

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Plus much more...

Join today >

Shula Berg (BVSc CertAVP(GSAS) MRCVS) Shula is a Senior Veterinary Surgeon and Advanced Practitioner in General Small Animal Surgery at Springfield Vet Group .

* 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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B e s

Helping keep your feline friends cool Cool for cats As we head into the year’s warmest months, we need to be making a conscious effort to help our feline friends (in their fur coats, of course!) cool. Unlike us, cats only have sweat glands in their paws and around their nose which makes it difficult for them to regulate their temperature – this can lead to overheating and heat stroke on hot days. Tips to help keep your cat cool Make sure they have cool shaded areas to relax in and plenty of fresh cool water available – a fresh water fountain will help provide refreshing water for your cat. Keep your house cool and if you travel with your feline friend, never leave them in a hot car. Heat stroke in cats All cats can suffer from

Lifetime Flex Our comprehensive lifetime pet insurance to suit your pet’s needs... and your budget

Fast efficient claims paid and great service My puppy had an accident and broke his leg. It was the most hassle free claims paid i’ve ever experienced - leaving me to focus on his care. Amazing service thank you so so much! -Lex

Multi pet discount *

How to cool your cat down Never immerse your cat in very cold water as this can lead to shock. The best way to cool your cat is by temporarily placing cool wet towels across their body and/or positioning them next to a fan. Allow your cat small amounts of water to drink and continue to cool them until their breathing starts to settle. Wet towels should not be left on for more than ten to fifteen minutes, otherwise they can start to heat them up rather than cool them down. Take them to the vet immediately for further treatment.

Do not, under any circumstances, leave your cat unattended in a car during a hot day.

Fast and heavy panting Excessive drooling

Vomiting

Dark-coloured (red or purple) gums or tongue

To get a free quote in minutes, visit mipetcover.co.uk

heat stroke, although they are pretty savvy in seeking out places to cool down.

Signs of heatstroke in cats

Very high body temperature Weakness, unsteady or collapse

Increased pulse and heartbeat

Excessive thirst

Seizures or unconsciousness

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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“Oooooops!

A procedure called a gastrotomy (where an incision is made into the stomach) was performed and the Kong retrieved swiftly and carefully. The nurses then made sure that Barkley was comfortable and settled as he recovered from his surgery, as well as giving him lots of cuddles and reassurance. A gastrotomy is a major surgery for our canine friends, so it was decided that it would be best for Barkley to be transferred to the out of hours clinic for overnight care monitoring.

I swallowed a Kong!”

Pets are a big part of our family, and it’s only right that we give them the lifelong protection they need should something happen.

This is where pet insurance can step in to save the day in the event of an unexpected illness or injury. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently reported that the average cost of a claim had escalated to £848 in 2021, a big pounce up from £817 in 2020. One of the most common claims MiPet Cover paid out on during 2021 was for dogs accidentally injesting something they shouldn’t have. This could be chocolate or grapes, for example. But in Barkley’s case… it was a pretty big Kong. Shelley Davies, Practice Manager of Hunters Bar Veterinary Clinic explains what happened. “It’s common knowledge that Labradors have a reputation of eating everything in sight and the story of Barkley and his Kong toy definitely confirms this. Barkley was having a lovely morning playing with his favourite toys until he started retching and his mum noticed that she could no longer see his Kong toy. She called the vets and was told to take him down to the clinic straight away. The vet checked Barkley over and felt his abdomen to see if he could feel the Kong, but he couldn’t. After a discussion with his owners, an injection was given to make Barkley vomit but he only

However, everyone was elated to hear that Barkley could go home the very next day! Much to the family’s relief, Barkley is insured with MiPet Cover , and the claim was paid directly to the veterinary practice. This meant that they only had to pay their excess, which was a big weight off of their minds. The team love seeing Barkley whenever he visits, though it’s hoped that it’s only for routine appointments from now on!”

The average claim to treat a pet is £848

Source: ABI 2022

brought up his breakfast and some bits of carrot. The question was, ‘had Barkley swallowed the Kong or had he just hidden it really well at home?’ After turning the house upside down, Barkley’s family were convinced he’d swallowed the toy and agreed for an X-ray to be taken. This meant that Barkley would have to be put under general anaesthetic so that he would lay perfectly still. It was pretty clear from the X-ray that Barkley had indeed swallowed the Kong and therefore would need emergency surgery to remove it. Luckily the veterinary team were prepped and on-hand to perform the surgery straight away.

The MiPet Cover team are delighted that this story had an happy ending! We know dogs and cats can get up to all sorts of mischief. Let us protect your pet too with a LifetimeFlex policy… you can get a quote and cover in minutes. Looking for Lifetime Pet Insurance?

Lifetime Flex

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My 8 year old cat has started to get really stinky breath. Do you have any ideas on how to improve it? Smelly breath is a common complaint as pets get older. As tartar builds up on the teeth, bacteria are trapped causing the funky smell. If untreated, this can lead to inflammation of the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth, ultimately leading to loose and painful dentition. I would strongly advise getting your cat checked by a vet or nurse, as they may be in need of a dental procedure. This involves a short anaesthetic to clean the teeth using an ultrasonic scaler, assess the mouth and remove any damaged teeth. Once the teeth are properly clean, home care can help prevent tartar building back up. The practice can advise on the best options – be that tooth brushing, special diets or products to add to the drinking water.

I’ve just become a proud pet parent to two rabbits and having found out about Flystrike, I’m worried about keeping my rabbits safe over summer. Do you have any advice on what I can do? Being aware of flystrike is definitely the first step! I would always recommend checking your bunnies twice daily to ensure there are no fly eggs in the fur – if caught early fly strike is very treatable. Holding them securely, turn the rabbit over with their back to you, so you can check around the back end and genitals. Watch they don’t kick out and hurt their spine; if you aren’t sure, your vet or nurse can demonstrate the best way to hold them. You can also apply a preventative product like Rear-guard (included in HPC!), though this doesn’t remove the need to check them regularly. Fly strike is much more common if the back end is soiled. This can be avoided by making sure bunnies aren’t overweight, and not feeding too many watery greens so their stools are nice and firm. Cleaning the hutch regularly will also help avoid attracting flies.

I’ve noticed that my 2 year old male tabby cat has started to look a bit on the heavy side. Do you have any tips for helping him to lose weight? We’re suspicious that he’s eating our other cat’s leftover food! Unfortunately a lot of foreign rescue dogs have had very hard lives; they may have lived on the streets and/or spent long periods in kennels before being transported to the UK. As a result they can find adjusting to a domestic pet lifestyle very challenging. Acting aggressively towards other dogs is often a fear response, either because she missed out on vital socialisation as a puppy or because she’s unused to interacting while restrained on a lead. There is no quick fix for behavioural problems, and I would strongly recommend finding a qualified veterinary behaviourist to help work through this. It’s important to differentiate between a behaviourist and a trainer; look for someone accredited by the Association of Pet Behaviour Councellors (CCAB certified).

Some dogs are prone to gunky eyes, especially flat-faced breeds (such as pugs and bulldogs), and toy breeds (such as Bichons and Shih Tzus) as their tear ducts are often under-developed. Conjunctivitis, inflammation of the ocular tissues, can also cause ocular discharge however and this may need treatment. If your dog is rubbing at his eyes, the discharge is yellow, or the inside of his lower eyelid is very red it is worth getting him checked by your vet. If the discharge is clear or brown and isn’t irritating him, I’d bathe it daily with some salt water and just monitor that the corner of his eyes don’t get sore. My mixed breed dog often gets really gunky eyes. Is there a reason he’s getting this or is it just a natural thing that some dogs get?

To ask our resident vet, Shula, a question for the next issue, please email hello@mipetcover.co.uk. If your pet needs help sooner, please speak to your local vet in the first instance.

Provided by Shula Berg

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7. Balmedie, Aberdeen Holidaying in the Aberdeen area? Don’t miss out on this dog friendly beach, which boasts miles of sand dunes for endless playtime.

Bow-Wow Beaches If you’re staying in the UK for your holiday this summer, you may well want to bring your dog along for the ride. Pup-friendly shores for summer fun

6. Danes Dyke, Yorkshire

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The Yorkshire Dales has lots of spectacular scenery but there are also some great beaches too, including Danes Dyke. The pebble beach, which is flanked by rocks and backed by cliffs, becomes sandier closer to the water, making it ideal for dogs that like to make a splash! 8. Barafundle Bay, South Wales This secluded and stunning beach has a broad stretch of golden sand flanked by pine covered Carboniferous limestone headlands. The sea is crystal clear and generally calm, so perfect if you and your dog prefer a relaxed atmosphere.

Not all UK beaches are necessarily open to dogs and, just to confuse matters, dog friendly holiday accommodation isn’t always located near to dog friendly beaches. On the plus side, Britain boasts hundreds of beaches that will happily welcome dogs. With so many options, where will you go?

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Most dogs love having fun on the beach but you’ll need to do some planning before you go to make sure that your pooch will be welcome there.

Ten dog friendly beaches To make things a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a selection of the UK’s dog friendly beaches that your furry friend will love.

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Click to visit website

1. Durdle Door, Dorset This is an unspoilt, shingle beach that is open to dogs (as long as they are on leads). The steep clifftop scenery makes for inspiring walks. 2. Rhosilli Bay, the Gower Your dog will love this calm and tranquil stretch of golden sand. Be warned though, it can be hugely popular during the summer months so you may prefer to visit at a less crowded time of year. 3. Babbacombe Beach, Devon This sheltered beach features a lovely scenic walk down to the sand and shingle backed by thickly wooded cliffs dotted with 1930s villas.

4. Whitstable, Kent This Kent beach is incredibly dog friendly. ‘The Street’ emerges at low tide – a half-mile strip of sand which is great for dog walking. Dogs are also welcome at the nearby pub if you’re happy to sit outside and keep your pooch on their lead. 5.  Climping Beach, Bognor Regis Heading for the Bognor Regis area? Climping Beach is a great dog friendly beach. Part of it is a nature reserve but there’s still plenty for your dog to enjoy.

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9. Druridge Bay, Northumberland Northumberland in general is a good area for dog-friendly beaches and Druridge Bay is no exception. Here, you’ll find white sandy beaches, sand dunes for your dog to play in, and plenty of facilities.

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10. Holkham, Norfolk Holkham is a great dog friendly beach in the Norfolk area. It is relatively low tide too, so your dog can have lots of fun splashing around.

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which can be added to a cat’s food or water to minimise calculus formation. When possible, we should try and brush these kitty’s teeth on a daily basis. The typical cost of a dental cleaning under anaesthetic ranges from £300 to £1,000, depending on the severity of the condition. Hypotrichosis & Short Lifespan: This genetic disorder of Birman cats is more prevalent in certain countries. Kittens are born bald and their skin is visibly greasy and wrinkled. As cats mature, they become increasingly unwell and most have passed away by 8 months. To prevent this disease, we can screen parents to ensure they are not genetic carriers.

Cystitis: Bladder inflammation is common in all cats and can have a range of underlying causes including stress, bacterial infections and bladder stones. Signs can include frequent straining in the litter tray, blood in the urine and excessive licking of the genital tract. Treating cystitis often includes a combination of medication, bladder supplements and environmental stress reduction. Gingivitis: Gum inflammation can cause chronic pain, drooling, bad breath and difficulty eating. A vet can diagnose the condition by visually examining a cat’s mouth. Typically, treatment consists of a dental cleaning as well as feeding a prescription diet. There are products available

The Sacred Cat of Burma …Meet the Beautiful Birman

Is the Birman the right Cat for you?

Health Conditions to look out for Health wise, Birman cats can suffer from a few health issues. The average Birman lives for about 12 to 14 years, though some individuals can live several years longer than this. Kidney Disease: Both Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and Chronic Renal Failure are present within the breed. Signs can include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, a reduced interest in food and chronic nausea. Kidney disease is diagnosed with a combination of a blood test, a urine test and imaging of the kidneys and urinary tract. Those with PKD will have visible pockets of fluid on their kidneys. There is no treatment, but cats can be managed with prescription renal food, fluids, appetite stimulants and anti-nausea medicine to keep them comfortable.

The bright blue eyes and silky coat of the Birman have made them a favourite of many cat fanciers. They are known for their impressive size; with most breed members weighing in at a whopping 5.5 kilos or more. Despite this, they are nimble and agile and they love to climb and run. Also known as ‘The Sacred Cat of Burma’, this furry feline is said to have been a sacred companion of the Kittah priests. It is though that the first Birman cats were shipped from Burma to France in the 1920’s. Though the Birman was first recognised in France in 1925, it was not until 1966 that they were eventually recognised in the UK. Birman cats are naturally inquisitive and they enjoy exploring their surroundings. Some are reserved; keeping to themselves and enjoying taking time out away from other pets and animals. Anecdotally, these cats can become jealous and some are demanding of their owner’s attention and affection.

The Birman cat is a beautiful breed with a unique personality. Due to their easy-going and laidback nature, they are often touted as ‘the ideal’ family pet who tolerates both children and other pets. Not all are fawningly affectionate and many like to keep to themselves.

Looking for 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. Protect your Birman throughout all of life’s adventures with a cat insurance policy from MiPet Cover.

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Lifetime Flex

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Pet pawtraits

Lola

Obie

Loki

Ollie

Brie

Blu

Bert

Elvis & Roxy

Loki

Romy

Drift

Chester

Sascha & Kya

Wiggles

Tinkerbell

Pie

Check out page 41 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!

Daisy

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Understanding your pet’s ‘Body Condition Score’ 65% 39% & Pet obesity continues to be a growing concern for vets and pet owners It’s estimated that in the UK are either overweight or obese * of dogs of cats So there’s still some work to be done in ensuring our pets maintain a healthy body shape.

Body Condition Score - MEDIUM DOG

Too Thin

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2.

3.

• Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominence evident from a distance • No discernible body fat • Obvious loss of muscle mass

• Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible • No palpable fat • Some bony prominence visible from a distance • Minimal loss of muscle

• Ribs easily palpable and may be visible with no palpable fat • Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible, pelvic bones becoming prominent • Obvious waist and abdominal tuck

Ideal

Above Ideal

Instead, your vet or vet nurse will assess your pet’s body condition score (BCS). This is measured by looking at your pet from the side and above, and gently feeling over the body to gauge the amount of fat tissue over the ribs and pelvis.

When we’re assessing whether our pets are overweight, a number on the scales often doesn’t give the whole picture. This is especially true for cross-breeds where there is no expected weight range.

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• Ribs easily palpable with minimal fat covering • Waist easily noted when viewing from above • Abdominal tuck evident

• Ribs palpable without excess fat covering • Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above • Adbomen tucked up when viewed from side visible from a distance

• Ribs palpable with slight excess of fat covering

• Waist is discernible when viewed from above but is not prominent • Abdominal tuck apparent

BCS is awarded from 1 to 9:

Overweight

Obese

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5

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Underweight

Ideal Weight

Overweight

Obese

100% of ideal

110% of ideal

120% of ideal

130% of ideal

140% of ideal

7.

8.

9.

• Ribs palpable with difficulty, heavy fat cover • Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail • Waist absent or barely visible • Abdominal tuck may be absent

• Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover or palpable only with significant pressure • Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail • Waist absent • Obvious abdominal distension may be present

• Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail • Waist and abdominal tuck absent • Fat deposits on neck and limbs • Obvious abdominal distension

Your pet’s BCS will usually be assessed during their bi-annual check-ups with your vet or vet nurse. If you have any concerns, it’s always wise to speak with your local practice as soon as you can instead of waiting until their health check is due.

Always double check with your vet before starting your pet on a new diet. New diets can really help improve your pet’s life but it’s important to be sure that you don’t pick the wrong one!

*Source: Royal Canin

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Horoscopes Leo

Body Condition Score - CAT Too Thin

(23 July–22 August)

Pets with the Leo star sign take pride in their appearance, so are often found being pampered at the salon. When at home, they like to stay in style, so a regular groom will keep them preened and pawfect! To keep them looking glam, check out our dog grooming and cat grooming tips.

3.

2.

1.

• Ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily visible on shorthaired cats • Very narrow waist • Small amount of muscle • No palpable fat on the rib cage • Severe abdonical tuck

• Ribs easily visible on shorthaired cats • Very narrow waist • Loss of muscle mass

• Ribs visible on

shorthaired cats

• Obvious waist • Very small amount of abdominal fat • Marked abdonical tuck

• No palpable fat on the rib cage • Very pronounced abdonical tuck

Virgo (23 August-22 September)

Ideal

Above Ideal

Virgo pets are easy going, but creatures of habit. However, they are quite particular when it comes to some things, like making sure everything is clean, tidy and in order. As they prefer a set routine, it’s best to not impose change to their daily habits and expectations. With this in mind, it’s better to keep mealtimes at set times. Don’t forget to also have a regular schedule for playtime and walkies. Virgo felines will spend more time self-grooming, so beware of furballs ! If you love taking selfies with your pets, you’re sure to get the best out of a lovable Libra! Pets with this star sign are used to getting all the attention as they are highly social and incredibly sweet. They are very aware of their traits, so get used to them making the most of any fuss. They also like to keep the peace as well-balanced animals. They love to laze around throughout the day and enjoy quiet cuddles so they can recharge their batteries. They are also headstrong and like to have their own way, so make sure you set some boundaries so they don’t get carried away. Libra (23 September-22 October)

6.

5.

4.

• Ribs not visible but are easily palpable • Obvious waist • Minimal amount of abdominal fat

• Well proportioned • Ribs not visible but are easily palpable • Small amount of abdonimal fat • Slight abdominal tuck

• Ribs not visible but palpable • Waist not clearly defined when seen from above • Very slight abdominal tuck

Overweight

Obese

9.

8.

7.

• Ribs difficulty to palpate under the fat • Waist barely visible • No abdominal tuck • Rounding of abdomen with moderate abdominal pad

• Ribs not palpable under fat • Waist absent • Slight abdominal distension

• Ribs not palpable under a thick layer of fat • Waist absent • Obvious abdominal distension • Extensive abdominal fat deposits

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Health Issues in Staffordshire Bull Terriers With a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, there are a few medical issues we need to be aware of. However, these dogs are hardy and usually enjoy very good health.

Demodectic Mites (Mange): Staffies tend to be more prone to this external parasite than other breeds.

Juvenile Cataracts: These cataracts appear in the first few years of life. We will see a milky blue film over the affected eyes. For some, the vision is not greatly impaired and no treatment is needed. For others, they struggle to see and live a normal life, so will require surgical intervention. Surgery is specialised and not inexpensive.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier A Confident and Loyal Dog

Symptoms can include fur loss and scaly skin.

Interestingly, patients are not generally itchy. A deep skin scrape is required to make a diagnosis. While topical medicine can treat localised cases, widespread infections require dips and oral medicine.

Atopic Dermatitis: Those with atopic dermatitis are genetically predisposed to developing itchy skin. As they lick, chew, rub, scratch and bite at their, skin secondary bacterial and fungal skin infections occur. Signs typically show between one and five years of age and dogs are often affected on their face, belly and paws. The gold standard is to perform allergy testing and, when needed, to start immunotherapy injections to build tolerance. This course can cost over a thousand pounds and can take up to 12 months. Frustratingly, signs don’t always disappear though they do tend to improve.

brush once or twice a week. Their fur comes in a range of colours including black, white, brindle, brown and blue. Though rarely reaching heights over 40cm, these dogs are well-muscled and stocky, meaning they tend to weigh about 15kg to 17kg. A social dog, they crave human companionship and dislike being left alone for too long. They have a cheeky and playful attitude and a real zest for life. Some are prone to anxieties, including separation anxiety and noise phobias. These dogs need excellent socialisation from a young age in order for them to live alongside other pets including cats and dogs. If this does not occur, they may find it hard to tolerate other dogs and are likely to chase any cats away.

One of the most loved dogs in the UK , the Staffordshire Bull Terrier or ‘Staffy’ is a confident and loyal dog. While they have a reputation for being aggressive, most well-socialised Staffies are loving and trustworthy dogs who get on well with people of all ages, including the children in the family. Developed within Staffordshire, England in the 19th century, these dogs were once used for bull baiting and dog fighting. While these ‘sports’ are no longer legal, the dogs have retained their muscular physiques and high pain thresholds. The short coat of the Staffy is easy to keep in good condition and they only need a quick

An energetic and kind- hearted dog, Staffies are a popular breed within the UK. They rely heavily on human interaction though are independent when at home. Remember that ‘bad reputations come from bad owners’ and every Staffie deserves a chance.

Patellar Luxation: Knee caps that pop in and out of place can cause Staffies to hold one of their back legs up periodically. Dogs cannot properly extend their knee joint and will develop arthritis and associated pain. Mild cases can be managed with pain medicine, anti-inflammatories and interventions such as hydrotherapy. More severe cases benefit from orthopaedic surgery, which can cost several thousand pounds. Importantly, dogs commonly go on to develop symptoms in their other knee over time.

Looking for Staffordshire Bull Terrier insurance?

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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.

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How can you help your child to say goodbye? • If you choose a cremation service for your pet, involve your child in choosing a special casket, urn or ash keepsake • Bring your children to a local pet cemetery or crematorium to lay a memorial. Many aftercare specialists will have bereavement training and will be able to support your family with their questions and concerns • Encourage the whole family to get involved with sharing their feelings through making a scrapbook or memory box with treasured photographs, special toys or written letters to their much-loved pet • Your child may wish to be involved in the scattering of ashes in a special place, or planting flowers or bulbs around their grave

Supporting a child facing the loss of a pet

Answering those ‘difficult questions’… Abbie Thompson is an Aftercare Advisor at Silvermere Haven Pet Cemetery & Crematorium , and has shared some helpful answers to some of the difficult questions your child may ask, when the time comes. At the crematorium in Surrey, the team are trained in pet bereavement and understand the importance of caring for a beloved family pet, including how to support children through this difficult time. “Here at Silvermere we always encourage families to bring their children during their visit, or even when they bring their pet to us, as it sometimes helps children come to the sad realisation that their pet has died, but will be carefully looked after by one our aftercare advisors.

For children, the experience of losing their life-long companion can feel overwhelming

Emotions such as anger, regret, loneliness and grief are normal during this difficult time, and it’s important to consider how your child may be feeling. Be honest with them, encourage sharing feelings together as a family and never underestimate how important the relationship with their pet was. Blue Cross suggests a number of ways to support a child, including how to include your child in discussing option or making decisions about how to remember a beloved companion.

Pets play an important role in a child’s family; a best friend, source of comfort and bring happiness to the entire household. For many young people, the loss of a pet may be their first experience of death. For parents, there may be some difficult questions to answer. Depending on the age of the child, they may perceive death differently. Children under two years of age may not understand what has happened, but realise that their companion has gone missing. For older children, they may be fully aware that death is final and could ask questions surrounding aftercare, such as cremation or burial.

‘ How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’ ” We always encourage children to write or draw in our Remembrance Book, which can be so comforting during this difficult time. The following quote has always stuck with me when it comes to facing the loss of a pet:

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Percy the Poodle’s Puzzle Time

What questions might children ask? Abbie suggests giving answers that are easy to understand for children of all ages, and give them suggestions on how to share their feelings.

Can you find all the cat words? CRATJNKS I MLOP PMWSMAF I FQUSK UH I COLJMEOWI L RDFRMAENLOVMI RODAEONSGUHBR OCATN I PBAR I AP KPSC I TOCAPJ I N IUPHJGARF I ELD TOAPK I TMPYCAB TCNOS I JJ I NXYV EH I SMP I UMANRF NOWT I ATHJKOTE B I RMANOSTEPHW N I PGRUMPYCATT SCRATCHPOST MEOW CATNIP TOM GARFIELD GRUMPYCAT NALA SIMBA JINXY PURR BIRMAN KITTEN

Find the ball of wool

Start

gone to the Rainbow Bridge or do you have another place you think Jasper would love? Did it hurt when Jasper died? No, Jasper wouldn’t have been in any pain. The vet would have made sure he was comfortable. He would have died peacefully and just drifted off to sleep. Why did Jasper die? Jasper may have been poorly and his medicine was no longer making him feel any better, or he may have been too old and his legs were just too tired to carry on moving. Sometimes, our pets reach a certain age and their bodies start to get very tired, and there are signs they no longer want to be alive anymore. That’s why our vets help us to decide when to say goodbye. Start the conversation It may not always be possible, but sometimes speaking with your child before the time comes can be helpful. This gives you the opportunity to explain in a way they can understand what saying goodbye means. There are many helpful resources available to support you in having these conversations; you could ask your vet, your local pet crematorium or a Blue Cross pet bereavement advisor.

Where has Jasper gone, is he coming back? Jasper has passed away… so he won’t be coming back. He hasn’t gone anywhere in particular; you must think in your mind of a place where he may be at his happiest, and then that can be your special place where you can remember him having fun. You can remember him and think about all the fun you used to have together. You can look at pictures and videos of the games you used to play, and visit the walks you used to go on. Yes, he has gone, but he won’t be forgotten. Can we do something special for Jasper? Of course. You can create a memory box for Jasper to help you think about all the wonderful memories. Draw some lovely pictures or gather his favourite toy, collar or food bowl to place in the box. You can even write him letters or ask your parents to print some photographs. This will be your very own special place to visit when you miss Jasper the most. It is a reminder of all the good times and the joy Jasper brought to your life. Is Jasper alone now? I don’t want him to be lonely Jasper is always in your memory, he will always be thought about by you and your family, and won’t be lonely. Why don’t you tell me your favourite memory of Jasper and where you had the most fun? My mom says Jasper has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, is that true? What do you think? Do you think Jasper has

Can you spot the 5 differences?

Further support is available from Blue Cross >

See page 39 for the answers

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