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Free articles and advice written by Caroline Clark, a fully qualified member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC), a registered clinical animal behaviourist with the Association of Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) and registered veterinary nurse.
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Elderly dog

Top Tips for Keeping Elderly Dogs Mentally Active

Just like humans, as dog’s age, they benefit from being mentally stimulated.  In a recent study, researchers in Vienna taught elderly dogs to play computer games and found that they can help slow down mental deterioration. The scientists used touch-screen tasks on a computer, combined with rewards, to motivate them

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Dogs and cat with autumn produce

Canine Poisons & Seasonal Hazards in Autumn

Being aware of some canine poisons and seasonal hazards in Autumn, both in the home and outside is important at this time of year. Now that the days of summer have slipped by we all begin to turn our thoughts to events like Halloween, Bonfire night and preparations for Christmas

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An obese dog

Common Canine Conditions

A recent study carried out by the Royal Veterinary College, revealed the most common canine conditions seen by vets. The most common canine conditions: Overweight/obesity Osteoarthritis Otitis externa (Ear problems) Anal sac disorder Conjunctivitis (Eye disease) Dental disease Lipoma (fatty lumps) Dermatitis (skin disorders) The study was conducted by analysing

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dog hiding

Pet Anxiety

According to the 2018 PAW report, 80 % of pet owners say that their dog or cat is scared of something.  This short article is designed to raise awareness about pet anxiety and to highlight that there is something you can do to help your pet. What is Anxiety? The

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Cat laying down relaxed

Reducing Stress in Domestic Cats

Although cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still retain many of the same characteristics from their ancestors. Their emotional and physical requirements have not changed much.  So being able to cater for these needs is an important way of reducing stress in domestic cats. So what Does

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Dog training using treats

Teaching Animals Using Reward-Based Training

Animals need to be motivated to learn and most modern-day trainers know that using some kind of reward helps drive that motivation. However, there are some owners who feel that their pet should obey them without using reward-based training techniques and then find it hard to understand why they aren’t responding to commands.  

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Woman running along beach with dog

Hazards for our Dogs in January!

After consuming all those goodies at Christmas, many of us are thinking about starting the New Year with a weight reduction and keep fit campaign but there are many potential hazards for our pets in January! Xylitol For dieters, lots of low calorie foods swap sugars for Xylitol which is

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Two cats fighting

Help! My Cats Don’t Get On

“Help! my cats don’t get on” is a frequent call I get from cat owners. It usually follows after another cat is introduced to keep an existing cat company. But do cats need a friend? The short answer is generally NO! Cats are solitary animals. Unlike the dog, who is

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Two parrots in the wild

The Overly Bonded Parrot

A common problem that arises for parrot owners’ is the bird that becomes overly bonded to one particular member of the household. Aggression can be shown to other members of the family, especially when they are in close proximity of their favourite person. The problem can intensify resulting in swooping

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A blind cat sitting on a wall

Living with a Blind Cat – Top Tips

Cats and other animals always amaze me at the way they adapt to disabilities. This is certainly the case when caring for one that loses their sight. Cats that go blind suddenly often need more time to adapt but, although it’s easier if they gradually lose their sight, we can

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Black cat laid on window sill

Cats Suffer From High Blood Pressure Too

At 7 years of age and above, most cats are still playful and may appear youthful but there is an increasing risk of feline age-related problems developing. Hypertension (often referred to as high blood pressure) is a medical condition that most humans have heard of.  But did you know that

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The European Adder

Dog First Aid – Adder Bites

Now that it’s spring and the weather is warming up, most of us will be planning some lovely long walks with the dog. Whilst out and about, it’s possible to come across an Adder basking in the sunshine as they emerge from their hibernation dens. But would you know what

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Dog exercising

Sharing a Healthy Life with Your Dog

Keeping in good shape mentally and physically makes sense for all of us and sharing a healthy life with your dog means that you can live life well together. Obesity is not only a human problem. In fact, according to the Kennel Club, between 30 and 60% of all dogs

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Dog with happy expression

Are Dogs Like Us?

Working as a canine behaviour counsellor means that I often have to help people understand why their dogs react or behave in a particular way. Attributing human emotions can be unhelpful Often misunderstandings arise because owners ascribe human emotions to their dogs and this can be unhelpful. The term for

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Cat with tail up in a greeting gesture

Feline Behaviour – Why Does My Cat………?

All cats are individuals and have their own personality types. However there are a number of common behaviours that most cats exhibit. Knowing what some of these are and what they mean helps us understand and appreciate them just that bit more. As a feline behaviour counsellor, here are some

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Cat hissing

Feline Aggression – Causes and Treatment

Aggression is a broad term. In the cat it ranges from hissing and growling right up to a full blown attack. However this description doesn’t tell us anything about what is motivating the cat to show aggression. In most cases cats prefer to avoid conflict but,  if aroused sufficiently,  things

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Cat playing with baubles on Christmas tree

Avoid Calamities for your Cat this Christmas

Now that the festive season is upon us there will be lots of preparations for Christmas. Whilst this is a happy time for most of us, it can bring about additional stress and potential problems for our feline family members. Here is the lowdown on some of the common hazards

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Puppies playing together

Improve your Canine Communication Skills – Top Tips

Observe dogs’ body language: You can watch your own dog in the home, when out on walks and during play sessions. See how they interact with you and the world around them. Observe well socialised dogs interacting together and look at the way they communicate too. Video recordings are useful

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Dog investigating a snail

Lungworm – is your dog at risk?

Lungworm is a potentially fatal disease affecting the dog. Evidence indicates that it continues to spread across the UK.  Read all about this potentially fatal disease and find out why monthly treatment is essential to prevent the devastating effects of this parasite. What is Lungworm? The lungworm (or to give

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Dog being given an injection of insulin

Did You Know That Dogs Can Get Diabetes Too?

This week is Diabetes week but did you know that this disease doesn’t just affect humans? In fact Diabetes Mellitus (to give it its full name) is one of the most common endocrine conditions seen in dogs. The term endocrine relates to glands whose secretions (hormones) flow directly into the

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X-ray of dog bloat

Bloat in Dogs – An extremely serious first aid situation!

Bloat – Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV) This is an extremely serious first aid situation. It occurs when the stomach becomes enlarged through a build-up of gas and then twists along its long axis. Gas then continues to build up because both entry and exit points in the stomach are blocked. This

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Dealing with Fear Aggression

Fear Aggression One of the most common problems I am asked to give seminars on, or help pet owners with, is “aggression”. However this label can be very misleading. Aggression is a response to something in the environment. So the important part of helping the animal is to try and

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Cute kitten standing on its hind legs

My Cat Doesn’t Like Being Hugged- Why?

I’d like to hug my cat but they won’t let me – why? Here are 10 common reasons why most cats really don’t like too much close and personal handling: Cats prefer choice. This means that if your cat approaches you and wants to get close and have a cuddle,

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Ox Pastures Hall - Dog friendly hotel

Looking for a dog friendly break in Yorkshire?

As a dog lover and pet professional, I often look out for a hotel to stay where I can take Robbie, my beautiful 7 year old rescue Labrador yet still enjoy some luxury accommodation. Choosing to stay at Ox Pasture Hall with my husband provided us with just that &#

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Cute puppy in car

Problems with your dog in the car?

Now that Spring is in the air we all start to turn our attention to going on holiday.  Packing up the car for a day’s outing with our dog should be something to look forward to.  Unfortunately, for some dogs this isn’t the case. Problems of car travel mainly involve

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Bunny Behaviour Blog

There are an estimated 1.3 million rabbits kept as pets in the UK. However despite their rise in popularity many of their basic behavioural and welfare needs are not always being met. Pet rabbits are not far removed from their wild relatives. Therefore observing what they require in the wild

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Two cats grooming each other

Make Christmas safer and less stressful for your cat

Christmas time can be quite stressful for our feline friends. Cats are creatures of habit and so can get quite anxious during the festive period. There are lots of new smells, changes to the layout of the home and visitors calling. Not only this but there are lots of other

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Preparing your Pets for the Firework Season

Bonfire night is just around the corner and it’s NOW that we should be preparing our pets for the event. As a veterinary nurse and animal behaviourist, I see lots of owners asking for help about a week or a day before bonfire night, which sadly is a bit too

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Top Tips for Muzzle Training Your Dog

As a veterinary nurse, behaviourist and animal first aider, there have been many times when I have had to use or recommend the use of a muzzle. Muzzles can be used for a number of reasons including: To prevent your dog from scavenging when off lead. For dogs under-going behaviour

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Dog having his teeth brushed

Smile! Six easy steps to brush your dog’s teeth

Did you know 80% of dogs over the age of three experience gum disease? Gum disease begins when bacteria sticks to the surface of teeth. It forms a whitish sticky layer called dental plaque. If this layer is left, it hardens to form a brown rough deposit on the teeth called tartar. The

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How to crate train your dog

Training your dog to use a crate or cage is a great idea for your dog and your property’s safety. A crate provides a safe, comfortable haven for your dog, like a play pen for a toddler.  It should never be used as a form of punishment. Benefits of a

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Microchipping dogs becomes compulsory in April 2016

In April 2016 all dogs from 8 weeks of age must be microchipped. According to a survey by MedicAnimal there are still a large number of dog owners who are not aware of this new legislation. In fact many taking part in the survey were worried about side-effects. This was

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Dog panting on the beach on a sunny day

Help your dog keep its cool in the sunshine

At last some warm weather is her is here! But this can be bad news for your dog if they overheat. We’ve all heard about the dangers of hypothermia in winter, but what about hyperthermia? What is hyperthermia? Hyperthermia is when a body’s temperature gets too high. Death can be rapid if treatment

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TV appearance about cat behaviour

Recently I have helped out with a forthcoming programme on cat behaviour for Channel 5.  The documentary is to help educate cat owners understand their cats’ problem behaviours. The aim is to improve the lives of the cats and their owners by explaining and preventing misunderstandings. A case study on camera Filming started in February when

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Anti-freeze Poisoning in Animals – (sign the petition)

The veterinary profession are urging people to sign a petition to add a foul-tasting additive (bitterant) to antifreeze.  This would deter pets from ingesting the sweet tasting poison and so prevent them from a painful death.The petition has, so far, attracted 27,000 names but for the problem to be debated

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Robbie’s the star in First Aid for Pets

I recently taught a lovely group of very keen pet owners in Harrogate about First Aid for their four-legged friends. They were delighted to feel confident enough to respond in an emergency situation. A willing assistant Robbie, my lovely rescue Labrador, proved to be a great model for my Powerpoint presentation. He helped

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Registered Veterinary Nurse, Cert.Ed. Full Member of The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. ABTC Registered Clinical Animal Behaviour Counsellor.




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