44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
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Contents of this newsletter

01  "Please sir, can I have some more?"

02  Mum's the word

03  Arthritis - what to watch out for

04  How to help an arthritic pet at home

05  Why microchipping is essential

01 "Please sir, can I have some more?"

There's a new cat video doing the rounds on the internet which some of you may have seen - click here to check it out. 

We can hear you asking now, "How did these cats get so good at ordering food?"

These cats are a perfect example of how animals learn by positive reinforcement. Their behaviour is continually strengthened by a reward (in this case, a treat).

They would have initially been rewarded with a treat when they moved their paw towards the bell and then again when they touched the bell. Eventually the cats would have touched the bell so that it rang and that's when the treats kept coming! 

This is an excellent reminder that the best way to train our pets is to use a positive reward to reinforce good behaviour.

When it comes to training your pet, we are always here if you need any help.

02 Mum's the word

With Mother's Day this month, we thought now would be a good time to share a few things about pregnancy in dogs. Here are some key facts:

  • Pregnancy (or the gestation period) in bitches normally ranges from 58 to 65 days with an average of 65 days

  • During pregnancy your bitch should be on a balanced diet. Ask us for the best recommendation. It can be dangerous to supplement her diet with extra calcium or vitamins

  • A bitch should be dewormed with an all wormer at week 4 and 6 of pregnancy. This is important to ensure she does not infect her newborn pups. You should vaccinate your bitch prior to mating to ensure maximum immunity is passed on to her puppies.

When a dog gives birth to puppies it is known as "whelping", and the bitch usually rests between the delivery of individual pups. The rest time can range from fifteen minutes to an hour, but you should seek veterinary attention if:

  • Half an hour has passed since the onset of abdominal contractions and a puppy has not been born or;
  • Half an hour has passed after the birth of a pup, your bitch is still having strong contractions and there is no sign of another pup

We will be happy to assist you with any queries you have regarding your dog's pregnancy and whelping.

Click here to see 16 animal expressions that perfectly capture what motherhood is all about!

03 Arthritis - what to watch out for

Arthritis is a nasty disease. It sneaks up on our pets and always seems to rear its ugly head as the weather starts to cool down.

Many people put the signs of arthritis down to "getting old" but have you ever thought that your pet might actually be in pain?

Remember - your pet doesn't necessarily have to have a limp to be suffering from arthritis as some of the symptoms are subtle.

Signs of arthritis in cats:

  • Landing in a heap when jumping down
  • Hesitant to jump down from your lap or from the furniture
  • Reluctant to climb fences or trees
  • Scruffy or matted coat as they are no longer able to groom easily

Signs of arthritis in dogs:

  • Stiff and sometimes sore when getting up after lying down- especially in the morning
  • Trouble jumping up onto furniture or into the car
  • Behaviour changes - growling or grumpy when sore joints are touched
  • Muscle loss especially over spine, the hips and around the hind legs

The good news is we have plenty of tools up our sleeve to help your arthritic pet become more mobile and pain-free. We will put a treatment plan in place and slow down the progression of this disease before your pet's quality of life is affected.

The month of May is a great time to arrange an arthritis check up with us.

04 How to help an arthritic pet at home

If your pet is diagnosed with arthritis, there are plenty of things you can do at home to help them feel more comfortable.

We recommend a multi-pronged attack as this helps to reduce the need for large amounts of medication and will lessen the potential side effects of any one treatment.

6 tips for an arthritis-friendly home:

  1. Keep your pet lean to help reduce the load on their joints
  2. Consider feeding a diet specifically formulated for arthritis (ask us for the best recommendation)
  3. Continue to exercise your pet in moderation; gentle daily walks for dogs help keep the joints moving and muscles toned
  4. Provide a warm and comfortable bed with plenty of padding
  5. Use a portable ramp to help your dog in and out of the car
  6. Provide an additional piece of furniture (like an ottoman) so your cat doesn't have to jump so high to reach his favourite spot

Ask us for more information on how to make your home arthritis-friendly.

05 Why microchipping is essential

The recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales have sadly resulted in hundreds of displaced pets.

Natural disasters are an important reminder as to why it is essential ALL of your pets are microchipped. 

When a lost pet has a microchip, they can be scanned at any vet clinic or animal shelter and the details attached to the chip found on a central database. 

Unfortunately, for many microchipped pets, the contact phone number assigned to the chip is incorrect and this makes the chip useless.

Now is the perfect time to make sure your pet is chipped and check the contact details attached to your pet's microchip

If you don't know your pet's microchip number please drop by with your pet and we can scan it for you. If you already know the microchip number you can jump online ( ) to update any details.

It's also a good idea to have an ID tag with your name and phone number attached to your pet's collar as this can speed up the lost and found process.

Ask us for more information about microchipping your pet.