Accident Help & Advice

Knowing what to do in an emergency could save your pet’s life.

We’ve compiled a list of suggestions as to how you can keep your pet and yourself calm and react most appropriately when faced with an emergency situation.

In Emergency Situations:

First ensure the safety of yourself and others. Keep calm and assess the situation before acting. Injured animals are frightened and in pain and may try to bite anyone who touches them.
Contact the vet. Keep your vet’s phone number to hand and know the name of the practice.
Always phone first, whatever the situation, as there may not always be a vet available but staff may be able to suggest immediate action you can take.
Have a pen handy in case another number is given. Treatment can usually be provided more quickly if the dog is taken to the surgery, rather than if the vet is called out.
If there is a risk of biting, put a muzzle on the dog, or wrap tape around the nose and tie behind the ears, unless the dog has difficulty breathing. Small dogs may be restrained by putting a thick towel over their heads.
If there is a risk of biting, put a muzzle on the dog, or wrap tape around the nose and tie behind the ears, unless the dog has difficulty breathing. Small dogs may be restrained by putting a thick towel over their heads.
Drive carefully when taking the dog to the surgery.

Keeping your pet healthy

Body Condition

When you run your hands over your pet check its weight. Checking will enable you to notice any changes that may occur over time and alert you to possible weight loss or gain

Skin Coat

Your dog’s skin can be pink or black depending on the pigments common to that breed or the individual genetic history. It should be free of crusting, itching, scaling, black/white spots and infected or hot and inflamed areas. The coat should be thick (depending on breed) and shiny with no broken hairs, bald patches, dandruff or fleas.

Ears & Eyes

Your dog’s ears should always be clean and without any thick brown or green waxy discharge. There should also be no redness, itchiness or offensive smell. Eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, redness or soreness.

Nose & Mouth

There should be no crusting on the surface of a healthy nose, nor there any runny or thickened discharges or bleeding. Bad breath can often indicate bacterial overgrowth/plaque on the teeth/gums, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Teeth should be white/cream with no excess tartar, which looks thick and brown. The gums should be a healthy pink (or black depending on skin pigmentation) and not red, swollen or bleeding

Pet Donors

Pet Donor Card

A topic that I would like to talk about in this article is that of pets and tissue transplants. I have been immersed in the transplant world since 1996 when my mother had a heart and double-lung transplant. She is still with us today and is fast approaching her 17th transplant birthday; thus, I am obviously very pro-transplants and try to encourage more people to sign up as a donor. However, when it comes to my dog I am not so sure whether I would like him to be a registered donor. (more…)

Speaking Your Pet’s Language

Speaking Your Pets Language Infographic

A flick of the tail, flattened ears, loud barking – most pet owners are familiar with these common behaviors, but what exactly, do they mean? To make it a little easier, we’ve come up with a cartoon demonstration for reading your cat and dog’s expressions. (more…)

Do You Need to be the Pack Leader?

Group of dogs

I recently came across a thread on a dog forum that discussed whether dog owners really need to be the ‘pack leader’ in order to get the best out of their dog. For the last 50 years the majority of canine behaviour psychology has focussed upon the belief that an owner needs to be dominant and exert themselves as pack leader in order for their dog(s) to be well behaved; from my experience this isn’t so. (more…)

Easter – Why Pets Should Hop the Choc [infographic]

Easter Bunny Infographic

Cats and Dogs are naturally curious about the foods we eat, treats like Easter eggs can be all the more alluring with their exciting foil wrapping and interesting boxes. Its important to keep chocolate out of reach of pets; even the smallest amount can cause huge health risks to your beloved cat or dog. Below you can find our ‘Why Pets Should Hop the Choc’ Infographic which details the dangers of Chocolate and pets at Easter time. Feel free to share our graphic with your friends! (more…)

Are Dog Parks the Answer?

Dog Park

I had to unfortunately visit the vets last week with one of my dogs (Archie) and as I was at reception there was a petition against having to have your dog on a lead in a town park. This shocked me as although I love my dogs to run off the lead there are certain areas I will keep my dogs on leads for their own safety. Archie’s best friend is a rescued Patterdale Terrier called Frank, he is a lovely dog with people but can be very dog-aggressive, especially with larger dogs.

We have worked hard to introduce Archie to Frank and they have now been firm friends for 6 years, but it is very stressful out walking when people let their dogs run up to Frank, shouting “don’t worry my dog is fine”. I then start shouting “this one isn’t” while my friend is doing her best to control Frank and quite often the other dog then leaps in to attack back. (more…)

Coping With Pet Euthanasia

dog and man sitting

I was sat at the vets the other day when I had another one of my thoughts, how many people know what to do if it comes to having their dog put to sleep. I have had 4 dogs and each of them have been lost in slightly different circumstances. Even though as pet owners we know that there will probably be a time when we will have to make the decision to have our cat or dog put-down (especially as the chance of them passing in their sleep is rare), it is still a very hard thing to come to terms with. (more…)

Super-Furry Animals [Infographic]

Super Furry Animals

Animals are amazing creatures and whilst they make great pets and companions, they are also heroes in their own right. This infographic from shows some of the bravest animals in all the land. From dolphins that fend off sharks to an elephant carrying a girl to safety from the 2004 tsunami, this brilliant piece highlights just how beautiful the other inhabitants of planet earth can be and why we should not only respect them, but admire and cherish each every one of them. You never know, one day you may need their help rather than the other way round. (more…)

Are Working-Type Dogs the New ‘Scrap Metal’?

dog sitting in a field

It’s been well documented that in recent years there has been a tremendous rise in the theft of working dog types. We were discussing the subject in the office and someone said to me it’s like these dogs are the new ‘scrap metal’ of a few years ago. We all laughed but the more I thought about the statement the more it made sense.

The website ‘Dog Lost’ reports that there were 3500 thefts of this type of dog in 2012. Criminals who are out to make a lot of money in a quick fashion have traditionally done so though scrap metal theft from any source possible to sell on. It was seen as easy pickings and was very difficult to prove and prosecute, it therefore required a lot of surveillance time which was very costly. The stealing of gun dogs seems to be carried out by such criminals with the same objective in mind; to sell the dogs on for a very high price. However, unlike scrap metal, dogs hold more than just financial value to their owners, meaning that families’ lives are being ruined by these thieves. (more…)

So Much Love, Not Enough Words [INFOGRAPHIC]


Valentine’s day is a time for celebrating the ones you love and who love you; who better to spoil and shower with attention than your pets? This infographic, entitled ‘So Much Love, Not Enough Words’ was inspired by you. 1,000 of our policyholders took part in a survey to form the heart-warming statistics found here whilst our over 100,000 strong Facebook page ‘Feel Good Park’ provided us with beautiful words to describe what their pet means to them.

Love is in the air and it’s all for our pets! (more…)