Select an aminal below, to read the answers to many frequently asked questions that we receive:

How do I brush my dog's teeth?

  • Daily brushing is the single biggest difference you can make to your pet's oral health, but this can sometimes be tricky.  
  • Keep sessions short (3 minutes is plenty) and take care putting your fingers into your dog's mouth- don't try this if your dog is aggressive or prone to biting.  
  • It is always good to associate tooth brushing with a happy time such as prior to going for a walk or before feeding.  

Here are some tips to help you get started. It's a good idea to repeat each stage for five days before moving onto the next step:

Getting your dog used to the taste of toothpaste.
•    Wash your hands and smear a little toothpaste on your index finger
•    Let your dog lick the toothpaste from your finger
•    Repeat two or three times

Getting your dog used to their mouth being handled
•    Smear your index finger with toothpaste
•    Gently rub your finger over your dog's teeth and gums
•    Take care not to put your finger in further than your dog is comfortable with
•    Repeat this several times

Introducing the toothbrush/finger brush
•    Wet the toothbrush with water and then smear it with toothpaste
•    Let your dog lick some of the toothpaste off the bristles to get used to the feeling
•    Gently hold their mouth around the muzzle to stop them chewing the brush
•    Put your index finger and thumb on either side of your dog's nose, making a bridge over the top and lifting the lips, gently brush the canines (the big pointy teeth) up and down.  Start by angling the brush towards the gum line and brush away from the gum towards the tip of the tooth.
•    For now, avoid brushing the front teeth (incisors) - this is the most sensitive area.

Brushing the back teeth
•    As before, brush your dog's canine teeth up and down
•    Slowly move along to the teeth behind the canines, using a circular motion
•    Only go as far as your dog is happy with 
•    Brush both sides of the mouth

Brushing all of the teeth
•    As before, brush the canines, then the back teeth and finish with the incisor teeth
•    To brush the front incisor teeth, hold your dog's mouth closed around the muzzle and gently lift the upper lip with your thumb and forefinger to reveal the incisor teeth.  (Many dogs are sensitive and may sneeze when having their incisor teeth brushed)
•    Gently brush the front teeth up and down
•    Gradually build up the amount of time you spend brushing until you reach two or three minutes
•    For maximum protection, brush your pet's teeth every day

I have got a new puppy, what do I need to do?

We would recommend bringing your puppy to see us a few days after you bring him/her home to be checked over and to start getting them used to coming to the vets. Puppies should be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age and need annual vaccinations after their initial course. If they are not already microchipped, this must be done as a legal requirement. We can also discuss feeding, neutering, insurance, socialisation, training and the most appropriate flea, worm and tick treatment for your pet. Socialisation is very important before the puppy reaches 16 weeks of age. Puppies should be carefully exposed to many sights, smell, sounds and experiences as well as having many pleasant social interactions with different people and animals. The following link gives some examples but is not a definitive list. Attending puppy socialisation and training classes is recommended.


I want to take my dog/cat abroad, what do I need to do?

The requirements for pet travel depend on where you are intending to travel to. The PETS Travel Scheme applies in the EU and also applies to many non-European destinations. Cats, dogs or ferrets travelling under this scheme must be microchipped, rabies vaccinated and have a pet passport issued. The rules are strictly enforced so we strongly recommend you research the requirements for the particular country/countries you are travelling to well in advance of your trip. 

My dog has eaten chocolate, what should I do?

Treatment may be needed if your dog eats any chocolate so please contact your vet as soon as possible. It will assist your vet if you can tell them how much chocolate your dog has eaten, what type of chocolate it was (wrappers can be very helpful) and when your dog ate the chocolate. This will enable them to work out whether your dog has eaten a toxic dose or not and what treatment your dog is likely to need.

My dog has had a seizure, what should I do?

  • Try not to panic – although this is much easier said than done.
  • Focus on your dog's needs, as it is unlikely that the seizure is immediately life threatening.
  • Pull the dog away from anything that might harm him but otherwise try to avoid touching your dog especially around the mouth as they may bite you (remember they have no control over their muscles/movement).  Dogs very rarely choke on their tongues although it can occasionally occur with dogs with flat faces e.g. pugs.
  • Make a note of the time the seizure started so you can time how long the seizure lasts for.
  • If the seizure continues for more than four minutes, phone your local vet and arrange for your dog to be seen immediately.  Try to keep your dog as cool as possible (do not wrap in towels or blankets) as they can over heat while seizuring.


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