Good foods for dental health: advice for rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire

Did you know that your pet rabbit’s teeth will continually grow for their entire life? To maintain your furry friend’s oral health, it is essential that you provide them with the correct nutrition that supports natural wear and tear. In this article, Vet Richard Black explores the foods that Rouken Glen Vets recommends to help keep your rabbit’s teeth healthy and strong.

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Foods that are good for rabbit oral health

Vet Richard Black wants to help rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire understand exactly which foods, and things you can probably find in your garden, will really help to maintain your rabbit’s dental health.

The importance of hay

According to Richard, hay is the cornerstone of a rabbit’s diet and plays a vital role in maintaining dental health. The fibre in hay encourages constant chewing, which naturally grinds down your rabbit’s teeth. Richard recommends offering a variety of hays like timothy, meadow, or orchard grass to keep their diet interesting and ensure they receive essential nutrients.

Fresh leafy greens

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce are not only packed with vitamins and minerals but also provide the necessary crunch to help wear down your rabbit’s teeth. These greens should be a daily part of your pet’s diet. You should avoid ice-berg lettuce as these can make rabbits feel unwell.

Fresh herbs

Richard wants rabbit owners to get excited about herbs like parsley, coriander, and dill, as these serve as tasty additions to your rabbit’s diet while promoting healthy teeth. The act of nibbling on herbs encourages natural dental maintenance.

Twigs and branches

These might not seem the obvious choice, but Richard recommends incorporating safe twigs and branches from fruit-bearing trees like apple, willow, or pear into your rabbit’s environment. These act as natural toothbrushes, providing both dental and enrichment benefits.

Rabbit pellets

High-quality rabbit pellets can be part of your rabbit’s diet, but they should not be the primary focus. Choose pellets that are rich in fibre and low in calcium, as an excess of calcium can lead to urinary tract issues.

Fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and celery can be given in moderation as occasional treats. They offer both dental exercise and nutritional value.

Richard wants rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire to be aware: whilst some calcium is essential for rabbits, an excess can lead to urinary problems and kidney stones. Therefore, it’s important to avoid high-calcium foods like alfalfa hay (sometimes called Lucerne hay), which is suitable for young rabbits but not for adults. Also, remember that fresh, clean water is essential for all aspects of your rabbit’s health.

Maintaining your rabbit’s dental health is not just about providing the right foods; it’s also about ensuring a well-balanced diet. Contact our rabbit vets at Rouken Glen Vets to discuss your rabbit’s nutritional needs and don’t hesitate to contact us on 0141 620 2580 to book a dental exam for them.

Book a dental exam for your rabbit

Is bad dog breath normal or does your dog need to see a vet dentist?

East Renfrewshire dog owners are no strangers to the unique scents that come with pet ownership, but one smell that often raises concern is bad dog breath. While it’s not uncommon for dogs to have occasional odorous breath, persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can indicate underlying health issues that require attention.

Our Vet Richard Black has put together the following article about the causes of bad dog breath, when it’s normal, and when it’s a sign of something more serious. Don’t forget that the nurses at Rouken Glen Vets can demonstrate tooth brushing – call us on 0141 620 2580 to get booked in for a doggy dental demonstration!

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Normal causes of bad dog breath

Occasional bad breath in dogs is not unusual and can be attributed to factors like eating smelly foods, chewing on certain toys, or simply waking up from a nap. If your dog’s breath is only temporarily bad and improves after a short time, it’s likely nothing to worry about:

  • Diet: According to Richard, the food your dog eats can have a significant impact on their breath. Some dog foods may contribute to stronger odours, whilst high-quality diets teamed with practising good dental hygiene can help minimise it.
  • Oral hygiene: Just like humans, dogs need proper dental care. Without it, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to bad breath. Regular brushing and dental check-ups at Rouken Glen Vets are essential.
  • Chewing habits: Dogs often chew on various objects that can affect their breath. However, the action of chewing on dental toys and (safe) bones can help naturally clean their teeth and reduce bad breath.

Abnormal causes of bad dog breath

Persistent and extreme bad dog breath is not normal and is one of the signs of dental disease and some illnesses:

  • Dental disease: Persistent bad breath is often a sign of dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or infected gums. Richard advises that these conditions can lead to severe health problems if left untreated.
  • Digestive problems: Sometimes, digestive issues can cause foul-smelling breath. Gastrointestinal problems or an upset stomach can result in odorous breath.
  • Oral infections: Infections in the mouth, throat, or respiratory system can lead to bad breath. These infections need prompt medical attention.
  • Underlying medical conditions: In some cases, bad breath can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or liver problems.

Taking action

As with all dog health concerns, prevention is better than cure, and early intervention is always the best route as this will give your pet the best chance of a fast recovery. Richard recommends that dog owners in East Renfrewshire should take note of the advice below:

  1. Regular dental care: Establish a routine of brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and providing dental chews or toys designed to promote good oral health.
  2. Diet: Feed your dog a balanced diet with dental-friendly options. Talk to our team for dietary recommendations.
  3. Veterinary check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with our team, including dental exams, to catch and address any potential issues early.
  4. Stay alert: Pay attention to changes in your dog’s breath. If it becomes consistently foul, contact us to book a dental check-up.
  5. Professional cleaning: When necessary, our vets may recommend a professional dental scale & polish to address any existing dental problems.

While some degree of bad dog breath is normal, persistent and foul-smelling breath should not be ignored. It’s often a sign of an underlying issue that requires attention. Regular dental care, a balanced diet, and vigilant observation of your dog’s health can help keep their breath fresh and their overall wellbeing in check.

Contact our vets at Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 to discuss your dog’s dental care and how you can help at home.

Book a nurse dental appointment

Get Rouken Glen Vets’ guide to feline dental care

Rouken Glen Vets is spreading the word that February is Dental Awareness Month and a time to focus on what aspects of your cat’s oral health is going well, and what could be improved. This article explores the significance of feline dental health, when and how to clean a cat’s teeth, and why it matters for your beloved furry friend.

You can always bring your cat to see our friendly nurses who will show you how to brush your cat’s teeth. Call us on 0141 620 2580 or book online:

Book a teeth cleaning demo with our nurses

Why feline dental health matters

Caring for your cat’s dental health is an essential aspect of responsible pet ownership. While many cat owners in Giffnock are aware of the importance of regular grooming and veterinary check-ups, dental care can sometimes be overlooked. Our Vet Richard Black is sharing why feline dental care is so important below.

Proper dental care for cats is vital for several reasons:

  • Preventing dental disease: Just like people, cats are prone to dental issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and tartar buildup. Neglecting dental care can lead to pain, discomfort, and potentially severe health problems.
  • Promoting overall health: Dental problems can impact your cat’s overall health, potentially affecting their heart, liver, and kidneys. Maintaining good oral hygiene can contribute to a longer and healthier life.
  • Improved quality of life: Cats with healthy teeth and gums are more likely to enjoy eating, playing, and interacting with their owners. Dental pain can lead to a reduced quality of life. Call us on 0141 620 2580 if your cat is struggling to do any of these activities.

Should you clean a cat’s teeth?

Cleaning a cat’s teeth at home can be beneficial, but it may not be necessary for all cats. It can also be tricky if your cat isn’t too happy about it…

Things to consider:

  1. Regular dental check-ups: Nose-to-tail annual vet health checks at Rouken Glen Vets include dental examinations. You can also book bi-annual oral health reviews with our nurses, and interims vet checks if you have any concerns. By scheduling regular appointments, our team can assess your cat’s oral health and recommend appropriate care.
  2. Get advice from your cat’s dentist: If our vets (or vet dentists for cats as we’re sometimes known) recommends at-home dental care, they can provide guidance on the best methods and products.
  3. Professional dental cleanings: In some cases, and especially in cats over 3 years of age, an examination and professional dental cleaning under general anaesthetic may be necessary to address existing dental problems. If your cat needs this level of treatment, they will be in the best hands with our caring team in Giffnock.

At-home dental care for cats:

  • Brushing: Brushing your cat’s teeth with a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste can help prevent tartar buildup. Start slowly and make it a positive experience for your cat. Our Giffnock nurses can show you how – contact us to book a demo.
  • Cat dental chews & toys: Providing dental chews or toys designed to promote oral health can help reduce plaque and tartar. Our nurses can give you some examples to try.
  • Dental diets for cats: Some cat food brands offer dental diets designed to support oral health. Our vets and nurses can help you find an appropriate dental diet for your cat’s needs.
  • Regular observation: Our Vet Richard Black also advises paying attention to your cat’s oral health. Look for signs of dental problems, such as bad breath, swollen gums, difficulty eating, or a reluctance to being stroked around their face. Call us on 0141 620 2580 if you are concerned.

In support of Dental Awareness Month, the take-away from our article is that dental care is a crucial aspect of your cat’s overall health and wellbeing. While you can take steps to clean your cat’s teeth at home, it’s essential to consult with our veterinary team for guidance and stay on top of regular dental check-ups. By prioritising feline dental health, you can help to ensure a longer, happier, and healthier life for your beloved cat.

Book a teeth cleaning demo or dental health check

Why winter heat stroke in dogs isn’t to be sniffed at

Not many dog owners would consider heat stroke in dogs to be an issue once the weather starts to get colder. Vet Richard Black advises that although this condition is typically associated with summer, there are certain circumstances that could increase the risk of your canine companion becoming affected by heat stroke in winter too. Keep Rouken Glen Vets’ phone number stored in your mobile and contact us if you need our help – 0141 620 2580.

Contact us if your dog has heat stroke symptoms

Why some dogs get heat stroke in winter

Overheated indoor spaces

If your home is overheated due to malfunctioning heating systems, excessive use of space heaters, or a closed-off room with poor ventilation, Vet Richard Black advises that your pet may be at risk of heat stroke. Ensure that indoor temperatures are comfortable for your dog and not excessively warm.

Leaving pets in cars

Pets left unattended in parked vehicles during winter can still be at risk of heat stroke if the vehicle’s interior becomes too warm. The sun’s rays can heat the car’s interior even on a cold day. On the flip side, being left in a cold vehicle can lead to hypothermia.

Overdressing

While it’s essential to keep pets warm during winter walks in and around Giffnock, over-dressing them in heavy coats or sweaters can cause them to overheat. Ensure that your pet’s attire is appropriate for the weather and temperature conditions. If left alone indoors, extra layers should be removed and blankets used to warm up your pet, allowing them to move out from under them if they get too warm.

Exertion during cold weather

When dogs engage in strenuous physical activity, like running or playing fetch, they can generate enough body heat to become overheated even in cold weather. Vet Richard Black recommends watching out for signs of overheating during winter activities – see below.

How to prevent heatstroke this winter

  • Provide a comfortable indoor environment with regulated temperatures.
  • Avoid leaving pets unattended in parked vehicles, even in cold weather.
  • Monitor pets for signs of overheating during outdoor activities, and take breaks as needed.
  • Dress pets appropriately for the weather, considering their breed and size.
  • When indoors, warm your dog with blankets instead of dog clothing.
  • Check heating devices or appliances in the home that could lead to excessive indoor heat.

Remember, the signs of heat stroke in dogs can include heavy panting, drooling, weakness, vomiting, and even collapse.

If you suspect your pet is experiencing heat stroke, seek immediate veterinary help by calling Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 and take steps to cool your pet down gradually while waiting for professional help.

Contact us if your dog has heat stroke symptoms

Can Seasonal Affective Disorder affect cats in East Renfrewshire?

The vets at Rouken Glen Vets in East Renfrewshire want pet owners to understand Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and how it could relate to their feline friends. If, after reading our article you think your cat could be affected by seasonal changes, book a health check with one of our cat-loving vets.

Book a New Year health check for your cat

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

SAD is a type of depression that typically occurs during the autumn and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. The disorder is believed to be related to changes in light exposure and can result in symptoms such as a low mood, fatigue, and changes in sleep patterns.

Whilst SAD is primarily a human condition, some cat owners have observed changes in their pets’ behaviour during the winter months, which may be related to changes in daylight and weather conditions. If you are concerned about your cat’s change in behaviour, which could also indicate other conditions, it’s wise to contact Rouken Glen Vets for further advice and to book a health check.

Book a New Year cat health check

Things to consider

These changes in your feline’s behaviour are not necessarily a direct manifestation of Seasonal Affective Disorder as it occurs in humans, but they could be influenced by seasonal factors. Here are some considerations for cat owners living in East Renfrewshire.

1. Light exposure

Cats may spend more time indoors during the winter due to weather conditions. This will result in reduced exposure to natural daylight. This change in light exposure could potentially affect their behaviour and mood.

2. Activity levels

Similar to the point above, cold weather can limit outdoor activities for cats. Reduced exercise and mental stimulation during the winter can lead to changes in your cat’s behaviour, potentially including restlessness or decreased energy levels. Our vets and nurses often see cats’ weight increasing over the winter months due to lack of exercise, which can in turn affect their ability to move more.

3. Temperature and comfort

Cats may experience discomfort in colder temperatures, especially if they are not acclimated to it. This discomfort could affect their overall mood and behaviour.

4. Owner’s behaviour

Changes in an owner’s routine due to Seasonal Affective Disorder or other factors can also indirectly affect a cat’s behaviour. For example, if the owner is less active or less engaged with their cat during the winter months, their cat will respond accordingly.

5. Pre-existing conditions

Some cats may have pre-existing medical or behavioural conditions that make them more susceptible to changes in their environment. These conditions can be exacerbated by seasonal changes. Feline arthritis is a condition that is particularly problematic when it’s cold and will greatly affect a cat’s mood and willingness to engage or move around.

How you can support your cat

It is essential for cat owners to monitor their pet’s behaviour throughout the year and to make adjustments as needed to ensure their wellbeing. If their behaviour changes significantly, it’s a good idea to consult with Rouken Glen Vets’ team about a New Year health check. This can help determine the underlying causes of your pet’s behavioural changes and our vets can provide personalised guidance on how to address seasonal related factors.

Book a New Year cat check-up

How to tell if your rabbits are too cold this winter

Vet Richard Black has prepared the following advice for rabbit owners in East Renfrewshire on how to keep their hopping house mates happy this winter, including tips for keeping them warm and comfortable.

Share this advice with other rabbit owners by sharing our article on your socials. Don’t hesitate to call us on 0141 620 2580 if you would like some individual advice tailored to your rabbit from our team.

Contact our team for personalised winter rabbit advice

7 signs your rabbit is feeling the cold

  1. Shivering: If you notice your rabbit shivering or trembling, it’s a clear sign they are feeling cold. Shivering is a natural response to cold temperatures as the body tries to generate heat.
  2. Huddling: Rabbits will huddle together or curl up into a ball to conserve body heat when they’re cold. If you see your rabbit doing this frequently, it’s a sign they are trying to stay warm.
  3. Cold ears and feet: Richard recommends touching your rabbit’s ears and feet – if they feel cold to the touch, it’s a sign your rabbit is too cold. Cold extremities can indicate poor circulation and discomfort.
  4. Reduced activity: Cold temperatures can make rabbits lethargic. If your rabbit becomes less active or seems sluggish, it may be because they are cold.
  5. Seeking warmth: If your rabbit is actively seeking warm spots in their enclosure, such as cuddling next to a heated water bottle or seeking shelter, it’s a clear indication they are trying to stay warm.
  6. Hunched posture: Rabbits tend to adopt a hunched posture with their body close to the ground when they are feeling cold, advises Richard. This is another way to minimise heat loss.
  7. Change in eating and drinking habbits: When rabbits are too cold, they may eat and drink less because their body is conserving energy to stay warm. Richard stresses that it’s very important to monitor your rabbit’s food and water consumption; eating less or not at all can quickly become a rabbit emergency and dehydration can also affect their digestion. Call us on 0141 620 2580 if you are concerned.

How to keep your rabbit warm this winter

Richard advises that there are several ways you can help your rabbit cope with the cold weather including:

  • Move your rabbit’s hutch or cage inside your home if possible, or perhaps into a garage or shed to avoid the coldest of the weather in East Renfrewshire.
  • Ensure their enclosure is well insulated, especially their sleeping area. You can also wrap your rabbit’s home in blankets or a duvet, ensuring it’s remains well-ventilated.
  • Extra straw and hay will help to provide warmth and insulation in your rabbit’s enclosure.
  • Microwaveable heat pads and well-wrapped hot water bottles can be useful when the temperature really drops but caution should be taken when using these. You may want to place these on the outside of your rabbit’s housing to avoid them chewing through the casing.
  • Limit outdoor play during very cold weather and ensure your rabbit has access to sheltered areas during their limited playtime.
  • Your rabbit may need more calories during colder months to help them generate heat – our team can advise on this. Contact us on 0141 620 2580 to discuss your rabbit’s winter nutritional needs.

It is crucial to strike a healthy balance between providing warmth but also the necessary ventilation. Regularly monitoring your rabbits for signs of cold and making adjustments to their environment as needed will help to keep your rabbit healthy, happy and snuggly warm this winter.

Share this advice with other rabbit owners on your socials and let’s help bunnies across East Renfrewshire have a happy and healthy winter.

Contact our team for personalised advice

Booking a UK staycation or holiday abroad soon?

Are you planning on starting 2024 with a holiday? If so, good on you! If you plan to take your dog with you, then read on for Vet Richard’s top tips on how to plan for your holiday.

Not taking your dog on holiday with you? No problem – download our list of questions to ask kennels whilst you research your dog’s temporary accommodation.

Download our kennel research guide

Deciding on your destination

You need to make sure your chosen destination and accommodation have plenty of dog-friendly spaces and activities to keep them happy. Popular staycation holiday choices in the UK are log cabins or pet-friendly cottages. Some areas will only allow dogs on the beach during certain months so researching ahead will help you plan your holiday. This research can also help you work out whether your dog could need extra training or socialisation ahead of your trip.

Transport options

If you are planning on travelling abroad, Richard advises that it is essential you start planning your pet’s travel arrangements as early as possible. There will be animal health certificates and often vaccines and other health checks that need to be completed ahead of your holiday. These will be affected by time limits – learn more about pet travel.

Contact Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 to organise a travel appointment for your dog.

If you are planning a staycation in the UK, make sure your chosen transport is suitable for your dog and the holiday you’ve chosen. More remote destinations will need car transport, which could be an issue if your dog becomes car sick. Trains and ferries may be a necessary part of the journey to your holiday destination – how would your dog cope with these?

Protect your pet

Before you leave for your holiday, ensure you have researched local vets near your destination just in case your dog requires veterinary treatment whilst away. You also need to make sure your pet’s microchip and collar ID tag have the most up-to-date contact details recorded. Richard wants to stress this to anyone planning a trip with their dog; if you become separated whilst away, it is essential that a veterinary professional/animal shelter can get hold of you.

If you are holidaying abroad, keep your dog’s vaccine certificates, clinical history, and their animal health certificates to hand. To request a copy of your dog’s clinical history, contact our reception team on 0141 620 2580.

It’s also worth checking that your pet insurance policy covers your dog for unexpected veterinary expenses, in case emergency veterinary treatment is needed, also if going abroad. Plus, whether in the UK or abroad, our Vet Richard recommends taking along a pet first aid kit for minor injuries – contact us if you need advice on what to put in it.

Essentials to pack for your dog

Remember to pack your dog’s food, treats, feed/water bowls, collar, lead and harness, toys, bedding, grooming equipment and poo bags. Their bed and blankets will help them feel comfortable and secure in their new surroundings.

By carefully planning and preparing for your early bird holiday with your dog, you’ll be able to create wonderful memories together while ensuring their safety, health, and happiness throughout the trip. Contact us on 0141 620 2580 if you have any questions about taking your dog on holiday and need some veterinary advice.

Alternatively, if you’re not taking your pet on holiday with you,

Download our helpful kennel research guide

Essential 2024 transportation advice for small furry pets

Small furry pets do not often need to travel. However, for the rare occasions they might do, small furry pet owners can be left confused and unsure on how to safely get their pet from A to B.

Below, the experienced team at Rouken Glen Vets have summarised the reasons for travelling, and how best to travel with your small furry pet.

If you have any questions after reading this advice, contact us on 0141 620 2580 or pop over to our Facebook page to ask.

To help you understand how to travel safely with your small pet, whether that’s in a car or on public transport, you can download our helpful guide here.

Download our small furry travel tick list

When would my small furry pet need to travel?

Visiting us at Rouken Glen Vets

Our vets in Giffnock recommend vaccinating your rabbits against myxomatosis and VHD1/VHD2. This needs to be completed at our clinic so knowing how to safely travel with your pet is essential. Other small furry pets may also need veterinary attention from time to time, so practicing safe travel is necessary in keeping their stress-levels down during their outings.

Contact us to book a rabbit vaccination or small pet check-up

Moving to a new home

You may have no plans to move yet, but as our pets are part of our family for a few years, it is worth planning for the long term when it comes to desensitising them to pet travel.

Grooming appointments

Certain long-haired breeds may need regular appointments to be groomed. This will benefit their overall health and wellbeing. Travelling to these appointments can be practiced, ensuring your pet is used to their pet carrier – learn about the best type of carrier and how to travel safely in our guide.

Pet sitting

If you are planning a holiday, you will have thought about pet care. Sometimes, you can get pet sitters to attend to your small furry pet in your home. However, you may need to transport your pet to somebody else’s house if you are using a family member or a friend.

Transporting your pet

There are some essentials to follow when travelling with your small furry pet. The team at Rouken Glen Vets have summarised this into a handy PDF for you to download – great to keep on your phone in case you or a friend need to transport your small furry pet quickly.

The team at Rouken Glen Vets understand that every small furry pet is unique. Try to be observant of their behaviour and needs during travel. If they become extremely stressed then call us on 0141 620 2580 for guidance on how to reduce your pet’s anxiety during travel.

We hope our advice proves helpful for you and your small furry pet and before you go, remember to…

Download our small furry travel tick list

Top advice for East Renfrewshire cat owners on choosing a cattery for your 2024 holiday

If you are planning a holiday in the New Year, Rouken Glen Vets has some top tips to help you find the perfect cattery. We know leaving your cat can be daunting, but with these questions, we will help you find your cat the most perfect holiday home in East Renfrewshire.

Download our Top Cat Travel Tips

The team at Rouken Glen Vets suggest that you work through these questions below to find out everything you need to know about prospective holiday care for your cat.

Cattery: medical requirements

Vaccinations and parasite treatment

Work out what the cattery will need from you when it comes to your cat being vaccinated and up-to-date with their flea, tick and worming treatment. If you are unsure as to when your cat had their most recent vaccinations, our team can help.

Contact us about your cat’s vaccination schedule

Your cat’s medical care

Enquire about the cattery’s process for dealing with a veterinary emergency and who their local vet is.

Cattery: services, security and facilities available

It’s always a good idea to visit prospective catteries before choosing one as you’ll only get a sense of certain aspects in person – Rouken Glen Vets’ team have listed some of these below.

Security measures

Ask about what security measures are in place to protect your cat. Check windows and doors to make sure they are escape-proof and ask about their fire safety measures.

Hygiene

Pay special attention to the cleanliness of the cattery. The sleeping areas, litter boxes, and common spaces should be clean and odour-free.

Specialised feeding

Discuss your cat’s dietary requirements before booking and make sure the cattery has the facilities to accommodate any particular needs your cat may have. If your cat has a specialised diet from Rouken Glen Vets and you are running low, give us a call on 0141 620 2580 or visit our website to re-order.

Noise and stress levels

You need to be sure that the noise levels in the cattery will not be too distressing for your cat. Enquire about what measures the cattery has in place to minimise the noise and stress levels for your cat. You may also be able to get a feel for this during a visit.

Accommodation options

Your chosen cattery may have various different accommodation options available – are they suitable for your cat?

Individual care

Ask whether the cattery offers cats individual playtime, care and fuss.

Concerned about getting your cat to the cattery? Take a look at our 21 tips for transporting your cat.

External research

Reputation and reviews

Our Giffnock team recommend paying attention to reviews and testimonials to understand what other cat owners have experienced with your chosen cattery before booking.

Booking policies and prices

Understand the cattery’s booking policies, the deposit, and payment terms available.

Licences and insurance

Check the cattery has the necessary licences to meet industry standards. The cattery will also need appropriate insurance so it would be worth asking about what cover they have in place.

How do you feel?

Communication is key

Ask the cattery how they will communicate with you and if you’re happy with this. Lots of catteries can offer daily pictures and updates so work out what you’re comfortable with.

Visiting

Plan to visit the cattery ahead of your cat’s booking to visibly assess the facilities, cleanliness, and mannerisms of the staff who will be caring for your pet.

Gut feeling

Using the points above will help you to develop some feelings towards the cattery. If you are unsure or have doubts about certain aspects listed above, keep searching.

The last thing you want whilst on holiday is to feel worried that your cat isn’t being cared for to the standards you expect. Remember, thorough research and early planning is key to choosing the right temporary home for your cat in East Renfrewshire. The team at Rouken Glen Vets will be able to suggest potential catteries in the local area. Contact us on 0141 620 2580 for more information.

Rouken Glen Vets is encouraging cat owners to download our cat travel tips, a handy checklist to use when taking and picking your cat up from their stay at the cattery, and in fact for any journey in the car your feline friend needs to take.

Download our Top Cat Travel Tips

Small furries – should you buy new or spruce up their home for Christmas?

Attention small furry pet owners! We have the perfect idea for a Christmas present for your pets – why not treat them to a fun new enclosure? Our team at Rouken Glen Vets have put together their top tips for either buying new or repurposing their old enclosure.

Download our cage cleaning tips to go alongside your pet’s new cage. Why not share them with other owners to make sure more small furry pets’ cages are clean and comfortable this Christmas?

Download our top Habitat Cleaning Tips

Should I buy new or recycle?

Making the decision to buy your pet a new cage vs. recycling their current cage needs to be based on a number of different factors:

Pet’s size and space needed

Has your pet outgrown their current enclosure? Do they need more room to exercise? Does your type of pet need hiding spots, tunnels, various levels? Can you include plenty of enrichment options in their current setup?

Hygiene

Does your pet’s old enclosure smell despite cleaning? Is it difficult to keep clean?

Your pet’s safety

Does your pet’s current enclosure have sharp edges or loose bars? Is their outdoor home still watertight? Is the wood starting to rot? All of these are hazards to your pet.

You also need to consider your budget. New enclosures can be costly, along with the accessories that you need to go with them. Research your pet’s needs and what options are available. Our nursing team will be able to advise – why not get in touch with any questions you have, or ask us on our Facebook page: roukenglenvets/

Reusing my pet’s old enclosure

If after considering the advice above, you determine that your pet’s current enclosure can be reused, then brilliant! Below are the top tips from Richard when it comes to preparing your pet’s “new” home.

  • Cleaning: first things first, get some rubber gloves. Then, download our Habitat Cleaning Guide and use the monthly advice for a big one-off clean.
  • Make repairs: once cleaned, it’s time to make any repairs you need to your pet’s enclosure. Double check latches, platforms and their supports and loose bars.
  • Decorating: If you are planning on painting your pet’s enclosure, make sure you opt for a paint that is animal friendly and non-toxic. You will need to allow plenty of time for the paint to dry and air out.
  • Bedding: Pad out the bottom of the enclosure with a suitable bedding material for your pet, before adding nesting boxes or nesting materials.
  • Enrichment: Once you’ve sorted the layout of your pet’s sleeping area, it’s time to start setting up the enrichment toys for your pet. New toys, tunnels, platforms and hiding spots can help keep your pet entertained and fight off boredom.
  • Food and water: Make sure your new chosen feed bowls and water bottles are working correctly and are placed at the right height for your pet.
  • Hygiene: Regularly cleaning to remove odours and prevent bacterial growth is essential to keep your pet healthy – our Habitat Cleaning Guide offers advice for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks.

Ultimately, the decision between buying a new cage and sprucing up the old one depends on your pet’s needs, your budget, and the condition of the current cage. Prioritising your pet’s safety, comfort, and wellbeing when making your choice is essential.

Get in touch with the team at Rouken Glen Vets, or you can help other owners of small furry pets by asking us questions on our Facebook page.

Before you go,

Download our Habitat Cleaning Tips

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