How cold weather affects senior and arthritic cats

Just like us, arthritis in cats can be exacerbated by many things, cold weather being one of them. As the weather starts to change in East Renfrewshire, it is important to start observing your cat for any changes in their health and implement things to support them through the winter months.

The team at Rouken Glen Vets have some advice for cat owners on how to spot common signs their cat is starting to struggle at home in between annual and 6-monthly vet checks.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s health right now,

Book a Cat check-up

What age do cats get arthritis?

Arthritis will affect 80% of cats over the age of 10, according to the Cats Protection charity. However, many cats will start to develop this at a younger age and will need more monitoring, care, and support.

According to Vet Richard Black, feline arthritis often goes undiagnosed because cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding pain. There are some signs cat owners can look out for at home though.

Common signs of aches and pains in your cat

Richard lists common signs that may show your cat is in pain below:

  • Depression and lack of interest
  • Behaviour changes
  • Sleeping more
  • Finding warmer spots in the house
  • Not wanting to go outside
  • Toileting around the house
  • Struggling to jump on or off surfaces

Any of these signs may indicate that your cat is feeling stiff or painful and not wanting to be as active/interactive as they would normally be. When it’s cold outside, or even inside, these signs may be more visible.

How to keep your arthritic cat comfortable

Richard has some simple tips for reducing your cat’s discomfort this winter:

  • Make sure your cat has a choice of accessible, warm beds to sleep on – avoid beds with high sides they may struggle to get into
  • Encourage regular, gentle exercise to keep the joints moving
  • Ensure water and food bowls are low down to reduce the need for jumping
  • If they are normally an outdoor cat for toileting it may be worth having a litter tray indoors in case they are struggling to get in and out
  • Book a check-up with one of our Giffnock cat vets to see if they need medication or supportive therapies to reduce their pain

By regularly checking over your cat at home and looking out for the above signs, you can help monitor for changes as East Renfrewshire temperatures plummet.

If you do spot any changes in your cat that you are concerned about, it is best to get them checked by Richard or any of the vets at our Rouken Glen Road surgery. The chances are it is something simple, but it is better to get it looked at and get your cat the treatment they need.

Book a cat check today

What vaccinations do rabbits need and why?

With spring just around the corner, you will likely be flinging the windows open by your rabbit’s hutch or moving it back outside. You may even treat them to more time in the garden. Before you do, it is wise to make sure your rabbit’s vaccinations are up to date.

At Rouken Glen Vets in Giffnock, we want to be sure rabbit owners are aware of the deadly diseases that can affect their pets and how to protect them.

Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease can strike even if your pets live well away from other rabbits. These diseases sadly have high mortality rates. Fortunately, rabbit vaccinations are available to protect your pets. So why not get in touch with our team to check if your rabbit vaccines are up to date, or to book a booster right away?

Protect your pet now

Why rabbits need vaccinating

Rouken Glen Vets’ Head Vet Richard Black, shares the key facts about these horrible rabbit diseases below.


  • Domestic rabbits do not need to be in contact with wild rabbits to catch it
  • It spreads quickly and is passed through fleas, mosquitos, midges, and mites
  • Symptoms include nasal and eye discharge, eye inflammation leading to blindness, swelling, redness/ulcers, problems breathing, appetite loss, and lethargy
  • Even with the best possible veterinary treatment, very few pet rabbits survive Myxomatosis so vaccination is essential

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)

  • VHD often occurs in outbreaks, spreading rapidly from rabbit to rabbit
  • Your rabbit does not need to be in contact with other rabbits to catch it as the virus can be carried in feed, on bedding, by wild birds and insects, and on the feet of rabbit owners who have been walking in an infected area
  • There are two strains – VHD-1 has a higher mortality rate (almost 100%) but VHD-2 can also affect younger rabbits under 6 weeks old that may not succumb to VHD-1
  • Symptoms of VHD-1 include respiratory distress, fever, appetite loss, lethargy, convulsions, paralysis, and bleeding from the nose before death. Signs of VHD-2 can be vague.
  • VHD is easily preventable with vaccines

What vaccinations do rabbits need & when?

You can protect your pet against Myxomatosis and VHD with annual rabbit vaccinations from just five weeks old. In some circumstances, our veterinary surgeons may advise more frequent vaccinations.

If your rabbit has been vaccinated and you cannot remember when their booster is due, get in touch and we can check.

A rabbit vaccination appointment also gives you the perfect opportunity to talk to Rouken Glen Vets’ experienced team about your rabbit’s health in general.

Contact us to book a rabbit vaccination

Rouken Glen Vets’ experts share preventative care must-haves for dogs

At Rouken Glen Vets we know only too well that prevention is better than cure when it comes to harmful dog diseases and health conditions. We see these ailments every year at our Giffnock vet practice, many of which could have been prevented.

In this article, our experienced veterinary surgeons have collated their top preventative healthcare ‘must-haves’ for all dogs in East Renfrewshire.

Before we dig in, if you are ready to get your dog’s preventative healthcare routine on the right track, get in touch and our team can talk you through the best combination of treatments.

Contact us

Four important preventative healthcare needs

Dog Vaccinations

Annual dog vaccinations not only protect your dog, but also help stop the spread of extremely harmful yet preventable canine diseases. It is important to keep up to date with the dog vaccination schedule recommended by your Vet to give your pet optimum protection against:

  • parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis – all highly contagious and often deadly
  • leptospirosis – a bacterial infection from contaminated water and soil
  • kennel cough – highly contagious, can be picked up anywhere, not just in boarding kennels

Not sure if your dog’s vaccinations are up to date? Get in touch with our team.

Parasite Control

It is true that some parasites are more prevalent during warmer months however worms, fleas, and ticks pose a threat all year round – therefore an ongoing preventative plan is essential. As well as being irritating, parasites can carry nasty diseases and cause harm to your dog, your human family, and other pets too. Lungworm is particularly concerning as it can be fatal in dogs. Contact our team to get your dog’s next parasite treatment ordered.


The obvious reason to neuter your dog is to stop unwanted pregnancies. However, there are many more benefits of dog neutering including:

  • prevention of testicular cancer and pyometra (uterine infection)
  • reduced risk of mammary and prostate cancers
  • can stop/reduce some hormone-related behaviours (wandering to find a mate, territorial marking, sexual aggression and boisterousness)
  • prevents phantom pregnancies and seasons, which can be stressful
  • can make pets easier to live with

Talk to us about the right time to neuter your dog

Dental & Health Checks

Getting your dog’s dental and general health checked every 6 – 12 months is key to helping them stay in tip top condition for longer. With 7 years to every human year, a lot can happen in a short time for your dog. Check-ups allow our Vets to spot any issues and begin the necessary treatment as soon as possible. Book a check-up.

When talking to East Renfrewshire dog owners about preventative care, our Vets and Nurses also advise a few more measures such as behaviour training, nutrition, nail clips, and anal gland expressions. Every dog is different so a consultation with one of our team will ensure you get the best advice for your pet.

If you would like any more advice on the above or wish to book an appointment for your dog, just give us a call.

Contact us

Cat vaccinations & parasite control – is there more to preventative care?

Did you know a preventative approach to your cat’s care is the best way to keep them in tip top condition for longer, and prevent them from catching a number of harmful diseases?

Here at Rouken Glen Vets in Giffnock, our Vets and Nurses have many years of experience dealing with serious cat health conditions that could have been prevented. In this article, our Head Vet Richard has put together their top five preventative healthcare ‘must-haves’ for cats.

To help cat and kitten owners further, our team have also created a handy checklist of everything your pet will need for a happy and healthy life on top of the preventative care list below.

Download our Cat Essentials Checklist

Five important preventative care needs for cats

1. Cat vaccinations

It is important to keep up with the recommended cat vaccination schedule advised by your Vet to give your pet optimum protection against infectious diseases. These preventable diseases can have devastating consequences and include:

  • Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV, feline infectious enteritis; feline parvovirus)
  • Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1, cat flu)
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV, cat flu)
  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)

Many cat owners ask our Giffnock Vets, “do indoor cats needs vaccinating every year?” It is wise to remember that sometimes indoor cats can get out and neighbouring cats can get in, so there is always a risk for un-vaccinated cats. Also, FPV can be transferred via contaminated water, feed bowls, or on shoes and clothing.

Not sure if your cat’s vaccinations are up to date? Give us a call on 0141 620 2580 and our helpful reception team will check for you.

2. Cat flea & worm control

Fleas multiply at an alarming rate and will affect your cat, your human family, and your home. Cat fleas cause itching and irritation, leading to excessive scratching, sores, hair loss, and scabbing. An infestation can also cause anaemia and fleas can carry tapeworms and other diseases. Unprotected cats are at risk of picking up roundworms too. Therefore, an ongoing programme of vet-recommended cat flea and worm treatments is always the best option. Call 0141 620 2580 to see if your cat is due a treatment.

3. Cat neutering

The obvious reason to neuter any cat is to stop unwanted pregnancies – especially as female kittens can get pregnant at just 4 months of age. However, there are many more benefits of cat neutering including:

  • reduced risk of mammary and prostate cancer
  • prevention of testicular cancer and pyometra (uterine infection)
  • prevention of stressful phantom pregnancies and seasons
  • can stop some undesirable behaviours and make pets easier to live with

Talk to us about cat neutering.

4. Health & dental checks

It is a good idea to get your cat’s dental and general health checked every 6 – 12 months so our Vets can begin treatment for any issues that could be brewing right away. Dental disease can be especially problematic for cats as most tend to hide pain and dislike having their teeth cleaned. Ensuring our Vets can get a good look at your cat’s teeth regularly means any concerns can be dealt with to improve your cat’s quality of life.

Cat microchipping

Finally, this might not seem like a preventative measure, however, it is something our experienced Vets always discuss with cat owners when talking about preventative healthcare. Microchipping your cat will greatly improve your chances of being reunited with them should they get taken to a vet practice, or an animal shelter, after going missing or being in an accident.

We hope the above advice is helpful. When it comes to your cat’s overall health and happiness, do you know what all their essential needs are? We have got you covered with our handy cat checklist – download it now.

Download our Cat Essentials Checklist

Rouken Glen Vets shares 14 signs of small furry pet dental problems

What do hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits have in common, besides being cute small furry pets? Well, they all have teeth that grow continuously and need the correct diet to keep them in-check naturally. Well done if you guessed it correctly!

Rouken Glen Vets are hopping onboard with February’s Pet Dental Health Month and sharing advice to help small furry pet owners in East Renfrewshire learn about their pets’ dental needs.

Book a pet dental check

Common small furry pet dental problems

A common dental problem that rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters face is overgrown teeth. If teeth are not kept at a healthy length by chewing food and gnawing, they can become too long and cause a variety of issues such as:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Difficulty eating – after around 6 hours this becomes an emergency situation for rabbits & guinea pigs who should graze almost constantly
  • Roots get pushed back into the jaw & skull
  • Teeth break off causing discomfort (typically in hamsters)
  • Overgrowth digs into the mouth and gums causing cuts and abscesses
  • Dental disease

How to spot the signs

Spotting dental health problems in rabbits and other small furry pets can be tricky to the untrained eye. As prey animals, their instinct is to hide pain and avoid showing any sign of weakness.

That’s why it is important for you as an owner to keep a lookout for any, or a combination of the symptoms below. Take a note of your pet’s general health, as well as how the inside of their mouth looks.

14 signs of dental problems to look out for:

  1. Long, deformed, misaligned, or broken teeth
  2. Redness of the gums
  3. Drooling
  4. Grinding teeth
  5. Bumpy jawline
  6. Weepy eyes
  7. Runny nose
  8. Swollen face
  9. Mouth sensitivity
  10. Eating less
  11. Weight loss
  12. A dirty bottom (grooming becomes difficult & painful)
  13. Diarrhoea or unusually soft faeces
  14. They are less active or quiet

How to avoid hamster, guinea pig & rabbit dental problems

Diet is the key to avoiding these types of issues. Hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits need the right type of fibrous food they can chew on to keep their teeth at a healthy length. Balanced nutrition also helps them develop strong bones and teeth, just as it does in humans.

  • Rabbits need lots of fresh timothy hay to chew on as part of their daily diet.
  • Guinea pigs need to bite, chew, gnaw, and grind food; hays, grasses, vegetables & herbs.
  • Hamsters store food rather than graze all day. They need nutritionally balanced ‘complete’ rodent pellets, small amounts of fresh produce, and the occasional seed treat.

Enrichment is important too. Bored pets tend to gnaw on their cage, which can damage teeth. Try small wooden blocks, paper to shred, and pet-appropriate chew toys and treats.

Regular vet visits are also helpful. Our highly experienced Vets in Giffnock can check your pet for signs of dental problems and carry out the necessary procedures – teeth trimming, filing down spurs, treatment for infections, and extractions.

Make a dental appointment for your small pet

Rouken Glen Vets explains the signs of feline dental disease to look for

Dental disease in cats is more common than you might think, affecting around 85% of cats over the age of three according to International Cat Care. With February being Pet Dental Health Month, Rouken Glen Vets’ experienced team are here to help owners understand the dental problems their cat could be living with.

Contact us to book a dental check-up

Plaque & tartar – the common culprits

Head Vet, Richard Black, explains why so many cats have dental issues. Periodontal disease is typically associated with the build-up of plaque (layer of bacteria) and the formation of tartar deposits (hard yellow/brown substance) on the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal (dental) disease can develop, affecting the teeth as well as the supporting structures i.e. gums, ligaments, and bone.

Types of feline dental disease

– Gingivitis can be very painful and ranges from mild to severe; signs include red and inflamed gums, excessive drooling and bad breath, pawing at the mouth, difficulty eating, and bleeding in some cases.

– Periodontitis is severe gum disease, common in older cats with a lot of tartar deposits. Diseased ligaments begin to break down, exposing the roots and making the teeth unstable. Bacterial infection can be present and extraction is usually needed. Inflamed and receding gums are common signs.

– Stomatitis – Chronic gingivostomatitis is when inflammation spreads from the gingiva (gums) to other areas, often at the back of the mouth. It is extremely painful and cats will find it difficult to eat, probably lose weight, drool excessively, and show signs of pain such as pawing at the mouth. Some cases have been linked with persistent FCV and FIV infection.

– Feline resorptive lesions (FRLs) are erosions in the tooth in or below the gum line, commonly found in cats over five years old. Left untreated, the crown can come off leaving the root exposed.

 Fractures can be caused if the tooth is weakened and/or through eating extra hard food, engaging in rough play or hunting, or trauma.

Are some cats predisposed to dental disease?

Yes. Cats with misaligned teeth are more likely to develop dental disease; food gets trapped and can’t be cleaned effectively through diet and dental aids. Short-nosed breeds, congenital abnormalities (such as overbite/underbite), trauma, and deciduous tooth retention (when baby teeth don’t fall out and cause adult teeth to grow abnormally) are all causes of tooth misalignment. Other predisposing factors are an unsuitable diet and some infectious, preventable diseases.

How often should cats visit a Vet Dentist?

Prevention and early diagnosis are key to protecting your cat’s oral health. Prevent disease by vaccinating your cat annually, and help to prevent plaque and tartar build-ups through regular home cleaning and a suitable diet. Our Giffnock team can help you with all of this so do get in touch.

It is wise to book a 6-month check-up in between your cat’s annual vaccination & health check – a lot can change in a year and cats tend to hide pain. Checking regularly at home is a good idea too if your cat will let you. You are looking for red/swollen/bleeding gums, receding gums, excessively bad breath, tartar deposits, and missing/broken teeth.

As with all pet health concerns, we are on hand to help. Richard recommends booking a dental check-up and talking to one of our Vets. Our Vet Nurses can also help you master the art of caring for your cat’s teeth at home, so don’t struggle alone.

Contact us about your cat’s teeth

My dog’s breath stinks – do they need to see a Vet?

Many owners simply accept that their dogs have stinky ‘dog breath’, it’s just part of owning a dog, right? As February is Pet Dental Health Month, Head Vet Richard Black, is here to tell you why bad breath is the most common sign that things aren’t as they should be inside your dog’s mouth.

Book an appointment with our Vet Dentists

Caring for your dog’s teeth

You should ideally care for your dog’s teeth daily, as you would your own, to help maintain healthy teeth and gums. We recommend checking your dog’s teeth regularly for any issues too, as with any health problem it is always better to start treatment early.

Pet Dental Health Month in February shines a spotlight on oral healthcare. At Rouken Glen Vets, we strongly believe that the key to good oral health is owner education, as most of a dog’s dental needs will be taken care of at home. That’s why Richard is sharing the seven signs that your dog needs to see a Vet Dentist so you know what to look out for:

  1. Bad smelling dog breath
  2. Red gums that may be swollen or bleeding
  3. Build-up of plaque around the gum line (clear/yellow soft substance)
  4. Tartar deposits (hard yellow/brown coating on teeth)
  5. Discoloured, misaligned, or broken teeth
  6. Your dog shows reluctance or aggression when you go near their mouth
  7. Reduced appetite and possible weight loss – this could be related to many other conditions so it is always important to get your dog checked by one of our Vets.

Poor dental health can be painful for your dog and can make it difficult for them to eat and drink. It can also affect their general wellbeing so it is best not to wait if you notice a problem. Contact us about your dog’s teeth.

Why dogs get dental problems

The most common root cause of many dental issues is a build-up of plaque and tartar deposits. Left untreated, they can lead to painful periodontal disease (the name given to any disease of the teeth and surrounding supports i.e. gums, ligaments, and bone.)

Some dogs are predisposed to dental problems. Tooth misalignment is a major issue, as it causes food, dirt, and bacteria to get trapped, making it hard to remove through natural means and home care. Factors for this include short-nosed dog breeds, congenital abnormalities (such as overbite/underbite), trauma, and adult teeth at odd angles due to baby teeth not falling out. Another predisposing factor to dental issues in dogs is an unsuitable diet. Good quality dry food will help to remove plaque. You can also buy specific dental-care dog foods.

Can you improve dog breath smells at home?

Cleaning your dog’s teeth daily is the best action you can take towards achieving good oral health. Combine this with regular dental check-ups, the right food, and dental aids for even better care. However, when there is an underlying problem causing your dog’s bad breath, veterinary intervention is important to help your dog feel and smell better.

Richard suggests these 5 dental aids:

  • Pet-specific oral gel – to be used with a finger brush or pet toothbrush
  • Dental products that can be mixed into water or sprinkled over food
  • Dental chews can help, but be wary of the calories
  • Carrots make good dental chews in moderation
  • Toys designed to give your dog’s teeth a dental workout

When you book an appointment with one of our Vet Dentists, they can check for any issues and help you put together the best home-care routine for your dog’s dental needs.

Book a dental check-up

Eco friendly cat products & sustainability tips for 2022

UK pet owners spend £7.9million a year on their pets according to the most recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics (2020). As we move into 2022, there’s never been a better time to think about spending some of those pounds on more sustainable cat products. The team at Rouken Glen Vets have some ideas for you below.

If you’re a cat owner in East Renfrewshire, you can help others in your area by sharing your top eco-friendly cat products and tips on our Facebook page.

Share eco-friendly cat tips on Facebook

Our Rouken Glen Road team have created two lists of helpful ideas to get you started.

Eco-friendly cat products

You can find a wide range of eco-friendly cat products on Amazon, and in pet shops and other online retailers. Here are three our team picked out:

  • Biodegradable cat litter

    These contain natural raw and recycled materials that are biodegradable and much better for the environment. As well as being more sustainable, they also produce less waste, less dust, and have a good natural odour. You may have to do a bit of trial and error to see which your cat prefers though: biodegradable cat litter

  • Biodegradable litter tray liners

    If you can’t do without your no-hassle-no-mess cat litter tray liners, then try switching to biodegradable ones. These liners come in recyclable packaging too: litter tray liners

  • Eco-friendly cat bowls

    Bamboo cat bowls will last for years and are made without plastics and lacquers, meaning the materials used in manufacturing are much less harmful to the environment. Try these out for size: bamboo cat bowls. You can also get bamboo litter trays and poop scoops!

Eco-friendly cat owner tips

  • Recycle cat food pouches

    We bet a lot of people throw cat food pouches away as they’re not glass, plastic, paper, or metal. Check the back as many are now recyclable – remember to empty them first!

  • Make your own cat toys out of unwanted household items

    String, toilet roll tubes and cardboard boxes will give your cat hours of fun! Why not get super creative and build your cat a home gym? You can still recycle this ‘rubbish’ when your cat is done with them.

  • Give your cat’s unloved toys away

    If your cat has too many toys and doesn’t play with them, ask a fellow cat owner if their cat might like them, or donate to a cat rescue centre.

We hope our article on how to be a sustainable cat owner has inspired you to do more research on the topic. If you have your own tips and eco-friendly products you use, don’t forget to,

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6 new year rabbit owner tips for a better pet, pocket & planet

You’re doing an excellent job caring for your rabbit, but there’s no harm in discovering ways to do better by your pet, your pocket, and the planet. Our Head Vet Richard, has come up with some interesting ideas to get your new year off to a great start.

Read our top tips for rabbit owners

1. Get your rabbit vaccinated

If your rabbit’s booster is overdue or they’ve never been vaccinated we recommend making this a top priority. Rabbit vaccinations protect against deadly diseases – Myxomatosis and both strains of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD-1 & RVHD-2). Our Vets will give your rabbit a nose-to-tail health check at the same time, getting them ready for the year ahead.

Call us about vaccinating your rabbit

2. Switch to loose fruit & veg at the shops

Ditch the plastic packaging and opt for fresh food items that are sold loose. You can always take your own food containers and those re-usable material fruit & veg bags.

3. Choose local, seasonal produce or grow your own

Buy in-season produce grown in the UK and reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding imported goods. Go one step further and visit your local farm shop in East Renfrewshire – most grow produce on-site or nearby and use local suppliers. Alternatively, why not grow your own and save money too? Your rabbit will thank you for the fresh ‘garden-to-bowl’ goodies.

4. Make DIY rabbit toys out of eco-friendly materials

Save money and be more eco-friendly by making toys for your rabbits – Richard asked Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team to share their ideas:

  • Foraging trays: cardboard, scrunched up newspaper, hay, and rabbit food/treats.
  • Digging box: large cardboard box, soil, rabbit-friendly plants and treats.
  • Treat roll: toilet/kitchen roll cardboard tube, timothy hay, rabbit treats to hide inside.
  • Veggie kabob: metal hanging treat holder (search ‘rabbit kabob’ on Amazon), rabbit-safe vegetables cut into chunks – go steady on the carrots as these are sugary.

5. Get an eco-friendly rabbit hutch by choosing pre-loved

Check freecycle, Facebook market place, Shpock, eBay, and other places offering pre-loved a.k.a. second-hand goods. You’ll extend the life of a rabbit hutch or run that would otherwise be thrown away, and you could even upcycle your new item into a 5-star rabbit retreat!

6. Adopt rather than buy a companion for your bunny

Did you know that some animal rescue shelters rehome rabbits? Adopting a pet rabbit is a wonderful option as you get to give an abandoned pet a second chance in life. As rabbits need to live in pairs, why not contact your local animal shelter first? The Blue Cross also rehome rabbits – learn more.

We hope you enjoyed reading Richard’s top tips for rabbit owners and are ready to put your new year plan into action. Here’s a quick reminder to;

Call us to check or book your rabbit’s vaccination

You could help other rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire too by sharing this post on your social media profiles. Just hit the share buttons in this article or copy the link.

Dog owners need Rouken Glen Vets’ eco-friendly new year fitness ideas

“New year get fit” and “live more sustainably” – if these are your new year resolutions, our team at Rouken Glen Vets in Giffnock have just the thing for you. Keep reading to discover some exercise ideas you can do with your dog, ways to stay motivated, and tips on being more sustainable at the same time.

Before you start, booking a check-up is wise to ensure your dog is in the right physical condition for your chosen activity. Doga should be fine though!

Book a vet check-up

New year fitness motivation tips

Sticking with a new year fitness challenge is much easier if you don’t do it alone. Who better to motivate you than your dog? Dogs are almost always up for exercising with their humans!

Finding an activity that you enjoy together will also help with motivation. Why stick at just one? You will both benefit from a varied exercise routine as it gives overused muscles, joints, and ligaments a chance to rest and recover. It will also make your fitness journey more interesting and more likely to continue past the end of January for longer term benefits.

Six ways to get fit with your dog

  1. Upgrade your daily walk – A one-hour walk can burn up to 200 calories and can be very rewarding for you both. Warm up in winter months by exploring new routes that you and your dog can enjoy together. Don’t have an hour? You can also upgrade shorter walks by changing the speed, adding hills, using obstacles, and incorporating some play time.
  2. Doggy jogging – It might take a bit of training to get the pacing right and make sure you don’t trip over each other, but dog jogs are a great bonding activity and exercise.
  3. Dog agility classes – Agility training is fun, energetic, and stimulating for both you and your dog. You can buy (or make) equipment for your garden, or start visiting a dog club or training centre with all the right gear. Search dog agility classes near Giffnock or in East Renfrewshire.
  4. CaniX (Canicross) – If you’ve not heard of this, CaniX involves running with your dog attached to a harness around your waist. There are running events countrywide, starting at 2K. Find out more about this activity and find a CaniX weekend event near you.
  5. Bikejoring – Also new to you? Bikejoring means you get on your bike and cycle while your dog runs ahead, pulling you in a harness. It is typically geared towards medium to large dogs, and is a high-intensity workout. Discover more about bikejoring.
  6. Doga – Doing yoga with your dog can benefit body and mind, for you both. Dogs pick up on human emotions and can suffer the same stress. Doga lets you spend quality bonding time being calm and reassuring your dog. Plus, yoga has been proven to be good for heart health in humans, so why not dogs too? Learn more about the practice of doga.

Six ways to make your dog activities more sustainable

  • Can you walk to your activity location? Save on carbon emissions and get a warm-up.
  • Use eco-friendly dog poop bags – biodegradable poop bags will help reduce plastic pollution, as will compostable ones (just don’t put these on compost used for food crops!)
  • Did you know you can get eco-friendly dog collars, leads, and harnesses?
  • Take a re-usable water bottle with you. Here are some eco-friendly options our Giffnock team found at Ocean Bottle and
  • Need new gear? Search for ‘sustainable sportswear UK’ and find a range of active brands.
  • Don’t throw away your old sportswear and dog leads, try donating them instead.

Why not invite friends and local dog owners to join you on your 2022 fitness journey? Just hit the share button in this article or copy the link to your Facebook page.

Don’t forget to book your dog’s new year check-up before you get started.

Book a New Year dog check

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