Pet Care Hints & Tips

Pet Healthcare

Cat Healthcare

A healthy cat is a happy cat, make sure you are doing all you can in and around the home.

Dog Healthcare

A healthy dog is a happy dog, make sure you are doing all you can in and around the home as well as further afield.

Symptoms and how can I help

What if the cat gets heatstroke?

If your animal has been trapped in a very warm environment or has not been able to get a cool drink during summer, they may develop heatstroke.

Symptoms may be:

  • The animal being weak
  • Dribbling or panting
  • The animal may be distressed

How can I help?

  • Wet your cat's fur with tepid water; if the water is too cold it may shock the animal.
  • Take the pet to a cool area so that the environment starts to cool them down.
  • Provide a small drink of water.
  • Contact your vet for further advice.

Your pet is struggling to breathe

The animal may be struggling to breathe or may have stopped breathing altogether. It is more than likely that the animal will have become limp and motionless if this has happened.

How can I help?

By holding something light to the animal's nostrils you will be able to tell if they have stopped breathing altogether.

  • Open the mouth.
  • Pull the tongue forwards so that it is not obstructing the breathing passage. Also check at this point to make sure that there is nothing in the animal's mouth; if there is, remove it.

This motion should prompt the animal to breathe. However, if the animal is still in need of resuscitation follow the next steps.

  • Gently blow into the animal's nose, making sure that you have the mouth closed so that air cannot escape. This action can be roughly every six seconds.
  • Gentle pressure should then be applied in between the forelegs every few seconds. As a general rule give two breaths for every fifteen pushes on the chest.
  • Contact your vet as soon as possible, they will be able to assist you and guide you through the procedure.

My pet has been involved in a road accident

In this instance, always take the pet to the vets. It may be that you can see any obvious injury and although pets can be resilient, they may have picked up an internal injury. Remember to carefully transport the pet in a comfortable and secure carry case so that injuries are not made worse. To avoid such instances, make sure that you try not to allow your cat out overnight and that you always walk your dog on a lead, unless it is safe to do otherwise.

My pet is bleeding

Your pet may have a bump or a scrape from a fight with another animal or may have misjudged a gap in a fence and become injured; they may also have been involved in a more serious incident and as a result, incurred an injury that is causing them to bleed. Either way, your pet will need treatment.

How can I help?

  • Make sure that you take the animal out of harms way and make them comfortable.
  • Wrap a gauze bandage around the injury if possible; this will need to be tied tightly (without cutting off circulation) and you should arrange to visit your vet straight away.
  • When securing the bandage, try not to stick anything to the fur as this will cause deeper distress to the animal when it comes to removing the dressing.
  • If you believe that the bleeding is a result of fighting, tell the vets. This may affect treatment and the pet may need antibiotics.


The most important thing to remember in this instance is not to injure yourself or put your life at risk by trying to save your pet. It is more likely for a cat to drown than a dog as they are weaker and have less ability to swim in a current.

How can I help?

  • Rescue the cat if possible from the water.
  • Clean away any debris such as leaves or water from the nose and mouth areas to prompt breathing.
  • If the cat is still not breathing hold them upside down. This can be done by grabbing the hind legs (if you are gentle, you will not hurt the animal). Any water that is caught inside the animal should drain out with this action.
  • Always contact your vets as there may be problems that are not visible.

Although it is not possible for you to watch a cat all the time, prevention is better than cure. Avoid having a pond within the garden as a playful puppy or kitten could easily fall or jump into it and become caught, frightened or unable to climb out. If a pond is necessary, try to keep it covered over.

Tail injuries, burns and broken bones

If you think your animal has broken a bone, the most effective treatment is to go straight to the vets. Make sure that you do not cause any further damage, this can be avoided by putting the animal onto something soft and padded such as a cushion.

If your animal has become burnt in the home, make sure that you keep the injured area cool by running it under cool water. Always contact the vet for advice at this stage.

If your pet's tail is looking different to usual, is being non responsive and limp or is extremely tender when you go to touch it or the surrounding area, it is likely that there is something wrong. It is not always crystal clear as to why the animal is holding their tail in a way out of the ordinary, so take the animal to the vet as soon as possible.

My pet has eaten something that could be poisonous

If your pet is acting strangely, or is limp and unable to breathe, it may be a result of poisoning. There are a number of plants that are harmful to pets and these should not be kept in the house or in surrounding gardens. Plants that can cause problems are as follows:

Cherry Laurel � Eating the leaves can cause death and the plant is especially potent when we are suffering a drought.

Philodendron � All parts can be fatal, the plant can cause mouth irritation, excessive salivation, vomiting, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.

Lily of the Valley � Toxins that lie within the leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and affect the pet's heart.

Daffodils � The bulbs, flowers and even the water in the plant can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Laburnum � Eating the seeds can cause agitation, cramps and fits. In extreme cases eating the plant can be fatal.

How can I help?

Immediately call the vets and inform them of what has happened. They may be able to advise you over the phone.
If you suspect that a plant has been eaten, get a sample and take it with you to the vets. Likewise, if you think that some food or drugs have been consumed take these to the vets with you also.
Be aware that your pet may be sick, or become dehydrated, so make a note of any symptoms and pass these on to the vet, this will help aid the vet to make your pet better.