While one of the many joys of summer is the advent of holidays, it can be difficult to decide how best to care for your cat while you’re away.
There are some excellent catteries in West London, but not everyone feels comfortable about leaving their pet in a non-domestic setting. And you may prefer to maintain their everyday routine.
Home boarding or stay-at-home care is an increasingly popular option – so it’s important to choose the right arrangement to suit your cat’s needs. With this in mind, the team at Notting Hill & Barons Court Vets has put together a few handy tips that you may find useful.
No matter which option you think you might choose for your pet, feel welcome to pop in and chat to our vet nurses if you have concerns.
Daily visits can be carried out by a friend, neighbour or professional pet sitter, making sure that your cat has enough food, water and other necessary care.
Live-in care is like an advanced version of daily visits, as your feline friend has constant attention and company; it can live almost as usual.
In both cases, it can also be reassuring to know that someone is at your home each day in your absence, checking everything is secure and that your pet is healthy.
Whatever you choose, you need to check with your selected cat sitter to make sure they’ll provide the following:
As your pet is one of the most important parts of your life, you’ll feel better while you’re away if you know that someone trustworthy and knowledgeable is responsible.
Our vet nurse, Georgie, recommends checking:
Feel free to call us on 020 7229 9797 if you’d like any further advice.
Guinea pigs originate from South America and there are eight species of the sociable rodent, with the ‘cavy’ species commonly kept as a domestic pet.
And, as every Notting Hill guinea pig owner knows, there’s no one perfect way to keep them happy – they’re individuals, after all. Nonetheless, Notting Hill & Barons Court Vets has put together a handy checklist to help you meet your guinea pig’s needs.
Guinea pigs can be easily stressed if there are sudden changes to their environment or routine. Be careful when handling them and always pull them close to your chest or lap so that they feel safe.
They can also feel anxious if there’re sudden changes to their water, food or bedding, so try to keep their environment consistent.
Guinea pig stress manifests itself in similar ways to other mammals: they can become irritable, aggressive or depressed and less active.
Guinea pigs are always happiest when living with their friends; if you’re a guinea pig owner it’s worth having at least two. If you just want one, you’ll need to give it extra love and attention to prevent loneliness.
Keeping a routine is important with regards to the type of food you select, the time you feed them and time spent handling them. If you plan on making any changes to their routine, introduce them gradually.
These herbivores require plenty of vitamin C, so nourish them with nutrient-rich veg like kale and cabbage. You could also treat them to fruits like melon slices and apples – just be sure to remove the seeds, which are toxic.
Guinea pigs are not particularly agile and don’t climb well. They love chewing though and do so to file their sharp teeth. Bear this in mind when buying toys for your beloved rodent. Try treating them to seesaws, ramps, run-about balls and pipes.
Further questions? Call us on 020 7229 9797 and speak to one of our team for more guidance.
Many of the health problems we see in little furry creatures at Notting Hill Vets originate from dental problems, which is why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your pet’s teeth.
To help you out, this month we’re offering all our clients a nurse dental check, so we can give your pet an oral once-over.
A small pet with dental problems may seem dull, hunched and generally disinterested. Most dental problems in little furry animals are linked to a lack of normal wear of the teeth. This is because their foods are often too low in fibre, causing uneven tooth wear and sharp enamel points, known as spurs.
This can often be corrected simply by changing your pet’s diet to a more natural, high-fibre one, such as grass and hay. If your furry companion does have significantly elongated teeth, then they will need trimming. But you should never be tempted to clip teeth or trim them yourself.
Don’t try muesli-style diets as these will cause long-term problems; a high-fibre diet is essential. You should not allow your hamster (or similar) to be a selective feeder. And only buy the highest quality products, if possible.
If you live in Notting Hill and need some help, please don’t hesitate to call us. Emma and the team are always happy to help.
It’s important to keep on top of your dog’s dental health to avoid gum disease, which can lead to bad breath, pain and loose teeth.
Infections can even spread to the heart, liver, kidney or lungs – so it’s worth knowing what to look out for to catch it early. Book a dental check-up and, while you’re there, you can find out about the other services we offer to help you keep your dog in tip-top condition.
The vets at Notting Hill Vets in Notting Hill will examine your dog’s mouth and teeth during the annual check-up and vaccination appointment, but you should check them every few weeks too – a year is a long time with toothache.
Here’s what to look for:
If you’re in any doubt, just give us a call or pop into Notting Hill Vets and make an appointment – one of our nurses will be happy to show you what you are looking for, and how to examine your dog’s teeth without risking being bitten.
Prevent problems with your dog’s teeth and avoid bad breath by:
Cats are famous for hiding illness, so it can be hard to tell if they have a dental problem. But, given that we know some 80% of cats have gum disease by the age of three, it is likely this will affect your cat at some point.
To stay on top of your cat’s dental hygiene, why not book a dental check-up with one of our veterinary nurses at Notting Hill Vets? This will set your mind at rest that your cat isn’t suffering, and you can stock up on lots of dental advice at the same time.
Our head vet Emma has put together a checklist of the symptoms to spot if you suspect your cat has poor dental health:
It is important to catch dental problems early because advanced disease is unpleasant for your cat and can lead to other health issues. Plus, it can be expensive to treat.
With a few simple steps, you can prevent problems from arising in the first place:
Are you looking for a new career challenge?
We are a small, family-owned independent vets in the London boroughs of Notting Hill and Barons Court. Our friendly staff, professional approach, and comprehensive range of services and facilities attract clients from Notting Hill and Barons Court, West Kensington, Fulham, Earls Court and Hammersmith who are looking for a local vet they can trust.
We are now looking to add a new Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) to our team to ensure we continue to offer our customers the highest standards of patient care. So, if you are a RVN, are looking for a new challenge and would love to be part of a highly motivated, passionate and hard working team, please send an email with your cv and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. The role is sociable hours and highly paid, working with excellent facilities and protocols.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Our experienced team of vet nurses at Notting Hill Vets have plenty to offer you and your pet. Whether you’re worried about your cat or you have a practical question about how best to care for it, our head nurse Georgie and the team are here to help.
Obesity increases the risk of your pet developing other diseases. If you’re worried about the size of your cat, our nurses can show you how to monitor its weight, as well as explain how to manage body condition to keep it healthy and happy throughout its life.
Keeping your cat’s teeth healthy can prevent more serious diseases. Our nurses can show you how to properly clean your pet’s teeth and check for tell-tale signs of impending dental problems. Any suspected dental problems can then be referred to a vet for treatment.
All cats come into contact with fleas and worms at some point during their life. If you have any concerns or queries about routine flea or worm control, just bring your cat along to Notting Hill Vets for an examination from one of our nurses and we’ll discuss which parasite control product is best for your pet, your family and your lifestyle.
As your cat enters its senior years, it’s advisable for it to have health checks more often. As animals age, they can develop a range of health problems, so it’s a good idea to book regular check-ups with the nurse. The sooner we can identify any abnormalities, the sooner we can treat them.
We recommend that all cats are microchipped in case they stray, become lost or are stolen. If you have any questions, feel free to ask our nurses about microchipping. They work with our vets to administer the microchips and will be able to offer you plenty of advice.
It’s easy to book an appointment – you can give our team a call on 020 7229 9797 or contact us online. We’ve got a wealth of experience with cats, and we’d love to see you and your pet.
Rabbits make great pets for all ages, along with other small mammals like guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters and gerbils. But while they might seem less demanding than bigger pets like cats or dogs, they still require the same basic care when it comes to things like diet, habitat and companionship.
If you already have any concerns, help is at hand from the team at Notting Hill Vets. We offer check-ups to make sure your rabbit or other small pet is healthy, so just get in touch to arrange one.
Your rabbit or other small furry pet needs:
If you spot any of these symptoms, please give us a call on 020 7229 9797 to book an appointment. We’ve got a wealth of experience with rabbits and other small pets, so can set your mind at rest or recommend treatment.
Plus, if you haven’t yet bought a small pet, please consider these issues:
Your puppy’s emotional and behavioural development is just as important as its physical health. Dogs are sociable creatures, so it comes as no surprise that providing contact with other dogs is a very important part of your pup’s development process.
Our head vet Emma has a few simple training tips that you and your puppy can practice at home. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to register your new puppy with us here at Notting Hill Vets.
The first 12 weeks are the most vital in the development of a happy, healthy young dog, so as soon as your puppy has been fully vaccinated, pop it on a lead and take it for short walks so it can meet and greet other dogs safely.
Children can’t resist puppies, and while it might enjoy the attention at first, too much at once can overwhelm your pup. Introduce children one at a time so it can gradually get used to being handled by different people.
Your puppy’s going to have to get used to a lot of household noises, but it’s best to start slowly. Once it begins to feel comfortable with everyday sounds like the TV, you can play special CDs to familiarise your puppy with scarier noises like fireworks and sirens.
Car travel can be stressful for puppies, so before you head out on any journeys, let it play in a stationary car a few times. Then, start with short trips before gradually building up journey lengths to get them used to traffic and noise.
If your puppy responds calmly to a new situation, show it what a good job its doing by rewarding it with a treat. This is known as positive reinforcement and is a proven way to encourage good behaviour.
The world can be a scary place for puppies, so don’t force them into situations they’re not comfortable with. Instead, it’s important to move at their pace and make training as enjoyable as possible – it’s well worth the hard work.
If you fancy a chat, our experienced nurses at Notting Hill Vets will be happy to answer your questions about this important stage in your dog’s life. There’s no need to make an appointment, but it’s a good idea to call us on 020 7229 9797 so we can make sure someone is about when you pop in.
Getting a cat into its carrier is probably the one of the most taxing experiences a pet owner from Notting Hill will endure. Cats are creatures of habits, and most develop fear or anxiety associated with a carrier from a young age. Add a dislike of being taken away from its natural environment and you have a classic case of ‘won’t budge.’
Did you know: a cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times more sensitive than ours? Make your carrier smell more familiar by cleaning it thoroughly. Rinse it well with hot water and don’t use cleaning products – cats aren’t fans.
If your cat suffers from a great deal of anxiety, it might be worth getting a pheromone diffuser; you can place this in the house before attempting to get your cat in its carrier. This will reduce your cat’s anxiety and create a calming environment, making your job a lot easier.
Have questions about travelling with your cat or pheromones? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.