Our latest pet care advice

As the year turns from late spring to the start of summer, many pet owners are making the most of the warm weather (and the Bank Holiday weekends) by spending time outdoors with their pets. Take a look at our essential advice to keep your pet happy, healthy and protected.

Flea season

Although pets should be protected from fleas all year-round, you should be extra vigilant as we approach summer. Fleas can cause a number of serious health concerns for pets, including allergic reactions, anaemia and certain diseases.

Here’s how you can prevent them:

Use a regular flea treatment that suits your pet’s lifestyle and environment.

Wash pet bedding and blankets once a week on a hot wash to kill any flea eggs that may be present.

Book your complimentary* flea check at your local Medivet for a full nose-to-tail check, including a thorough search for fleas, eggs or any sign of infestation.

Remember, never use dog flea treatment on your cat as this can be fatal. Many flea treatments for dogs contain permethrin which can be toxic to cats. Please contact your vet to find the right flea treatment for your individual pet.

National Smile Month

June is National Smile Month, backed by the Oral Health Foundation, so there’s no better time to focus on your pet’s dental health.

With dental disease affecting around 60% of dogs and 80% of cats by the age of two, it’s one of the biggest concerns for pet owners. If it goes unchecked, it can lead to periodontal disease, causing painful gum inflammation and infection.

Regular teeth brushing

Routinely brushing your pet’s teeth is the most effective way to prevent dental disease. There are plenty of toothpastes and brushes available, so be sure to speak to your vet for their advice on what’s best for your pet.

The right diet

As with humans, a pet’s diet can have a big effect on their dental health. Avoid giving them overly sugary or starchy treats, which encourage bacterial growth, and stick to dry food which can help remove plaque.

Dental checks

Pets should attend regular dental checks with their vet to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy with no sign of dental disease. Call your local Medivet practice to book your complimentary* dental check today.

For more information about maintaining your pet’s dental health, read our dental guides for dogs and cats.

Rabbit Awareness Week

Rabbit Awareness Week takes place on the 1st - 9th June, highlighting one of the most misunderstood pets in the UK. We’ve put together our list of little-known facts about Britain’s third most popular pet, to help you better understand rabbits and their needs.

Read our 10 facts about rabbits you might not know.

We’re also raising awareness of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD2 or VH2), a relatively new strain of the disease that’s highly contagious.

Many of the estimated one million pet rabbits in the UK aren’t vaccinated from the new strain, and with little to no symptoms and fatal results, it’s essential owners get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Speak to your local Medivet practice to find out more and to book a vaccination appointment.

Allergies and skin atopy

Skin atopy, or atopic dermatitis, can be common in pets and tends to worsen during spring and early summer.

The result of allergic reactions to common allergens (including pollen, house dust, and insects), skin atopy causes redness, irritation and in some cases, skin infection.

If you spot your pet excessively scratching or licking themselves with areas of inflamed, irritated skin, speak to your vet to find out if it could be a result of skin atopy.

For more information about the condition and how to treat it, read our skin atopy advice page.

The dangers of blue-green algae

Blue-green algae is a bacteria that’s common in lakes and ponds across the UK, particularly during warm weather.

This bacteria is highly toxic to pets (although dogs are at a higher risk of exposure) and can cause fatal liver failure or long-term health problems, so it’s essential that you keep your dog from swimming in, or drinking from contaminated water.

Find out more about the dangers of blue-green algae and how to protect your pet in our advice article.

If you suspect your dog has been in contact with blue-green algae, you must take them to your vet straight away. Although there’s no antidote to the toxins, your vet will attempt to flush them out of the body before they take hold.

For more information, speak to your local Medivet practice.

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