Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Four Legged Adventures in Brixton

Pet Corner: Written by Goddard Veterinary Group’s Guest Social Editor, Nacho from The Four Legged Foodies

Archie and I spent the day exploring dog friendly Brixton and we found some real delights! Have a look below…

Start off with a coffee and/or breakfast at The Laundry on Coldharbour Lane which is a great space in a converted Edwardian Laundry! Dogs are welcome inside or on their pretty terrace and humans can also get a coffee to go if you can’t wait to get started on that walk.

From there it’s just a 15-minute walk to Brockwell Park which is a beautiful park with great views from the top of the hill as well as ponds and plenty of space to work up a hunger for lunch. You can also watch some humans braving the British weather at the Brockwell Lido if you pop into the lido café 400 Rabbits. (Dogs aren’t allowed in the pool though).

We stopped off at Ayla’s Pet Store on Dulwich Road to stock up on treats, then we headed to The Lounge Brixton on Atlantic Road for lunch.

The humans really like the sound of Caribbean Comfort food and they weren’t disappointed. They said the food was delicious but too spicy for us to try. Thankfully the staff were more generous and brought us our own treats.

This is a super friendly place we highly recommend our four-legged friends try.

Nacho-Four-Legged-Adventures-in-Brixton-London

The humans needed another stroll after lunch to help their full bellies (I don’t know what that is) so we strolled through Brixton Village Market which is a really cool covered market with lots of independent traders and eateries. Plenty of places for coffee and maybe some cakes for later.

The humans love beer so we had to pop in to see our friends at Brewdog who always have a warm waggy welcome for four-legged foodies!

If your humans still have room in their bellies after that, then they can get great pizza from Mamma Dough which is also on Coldharbour Lane.

The staff here LOVE dogs and the pizza is amazing, if you’re full then you can always get one delivered later.

We had a great day in Brixton and hope you will too! Keep an eye on Goddard Veterinary Group’s Pet Corner for more from me and my humans, in the meantime, why not visit us on Instagram?GVG Guest Social Editor

@the4leggedfoodies
@goddardvets

Nacho x


Please note that any advice given is the view of the blog author and is not necessarily the view or advice of Goddard Veterinary Group. Always seek advice directly from your own vet.

 

Stress-Free Vet Visits For Your Cat

Taking your cat to the vets can be a stressful experience for both you and your pet, but for some cats even just visiting us for a routine appointment can be an ordeal. If your cat is also ill or painful then it can be additionally stressful for them, but there are steps you can take to make it easier for them to cope. With a bit of planning ahead, a visit to our vets can be a much less traumatic experience for your cat.

Preparing for a vet visit

Cats like routine and can easily become stressed in new situations, especially if they have previously had a negative experience. However, there are things you can do to prepare your cat for a visit to our practice that will give them a more positive experience and reduce any future stress:

Familiarising your cat with their carrier

A pet carrier is essential for safely transporting your cat and should always be used when bringing your cat to us. However, if the only time your cat sees their carrier is when they are going somewhere stressful, then they will quickly learn to associate the carrier with negative experiences. It can then start to be difficult to get them to go inside.

To reduce any negative association that your cat may have with their carrier, you need to use the carrier as part of their daily routine, so they will become familiar with it. This means that the carrier needs to become part of your cat’s normal furniture. You may need to feed your cat inside the carrier, or let them use the carrier to sleep in, allowing them to become comfortable using it on a daily basis. It can take time to adjust to the carrier being part of everyday life but eventually they will become more comfortable using it, resulting in them being calmer when they need to use the carrier for travelling.

What to put in the carrier?

To make the carrier more appealing and familiar for your cat, there are items you can add to it. By lining the carrier with your cat’s favourite blanket or item of bedding, you can ensure that they have a familiar scent inside the carrier. Some cats are also comforted by their owner’s scent, so you could add an item of your clothing to give your cat extra reassurance. If your cat is being hospitalised with us then you can also bring along one of your cat’s blankets that we can add to their bed to make their stay more comfortable.

Feliway

Cats can communicate using pheromones which are released when your cat is happy and content. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the happy and content signal a cat will produce. This means it can be a useful product to use that will help settle your cat and keep them relaxed in a variety of situations. Before using the carrier it can be useful to spray the carrier and any bedding or covers with Feliway, 15 minutes before you need it. This can help keep your cat calm while in the carrier, during the journey, and while at our vets. You can also repeat the use of Feliway in the carrier if you are picking your cat up from us after a hospital stay. Using it in your home once you get back from your visit, to help your cat settle after their journey, can also be helpful. One of our team would be happy to discuss with you the use of Feliway and how it may be helpful for your cat.

Travelling to the vets

Now that your cat is familiar with their carrier and is ready for their visit to see us, it is time to think about how you can make your cat’s journey to the vets as stress free as possible. Cars are scary for a cat, with the noise and motion being upsetting for many individuals, but there are ways you can make the journey more comfortable for them.

Car journeys

Once your cat is inside the carrier, you should try to make them feel as secure as you can. Cats can become stressed by travelling and unfamiliar environments, so you can reduce this stress by covering the carrier up with a blanket or towel. Once in the car, the carrier should be secured so that it does not move around. Using a seat belt is a good way of keeping the carrier safe in your car. Cats also prefer the carrier to be kept level, so using extra towels to keep the carrier in a suitable position will also help keep your cat relaxed. If it is a hot day then make sure that the car is at a comfortable temperature for your pet. Be careful that they are not left inside the car by themselves for any length of time, as the car can heat up to dangerous levels very quickly. Remember to keep your cat secure inside the carrier throughout the journey and not to let them out inside the car. A scared cat may try and escape which can be dangerous for them in an unfamiliar environment.

At the vets…

The waiting room

The waiting room can be a very stressful place for your cat with all the different scents present and other pets that may be there. It is important to remember that meeting a dog will be very unsettling for your cat, so you should try to avoid any encounters with dogs if you can, particularly if your cat is nervous. Once in our waiting room try to sit separately from any dogs, and let one of our team know if this is not possible so we can help you.

Continue to keep the carrier covered over so that your cat still feels secure. Cats usually feel safer at a higher level so avoid placing the carrier on the floor and instead use one of the chairs to put the carrier on, to keep your cat more comfortable. For your cat’s safety keep them inside the carrier at all times while in the waiting room, where they will feel secure.

The consulting room

Once inside the consulting room, if the doors are secure, then it can be useful to let your cat out to explore, allowing them to adjust to their new surroundings. By giving your cat time to walk around the floor is a good way to let them settle. If your cat is visiting us for a procedure, such as a nail clip or blood test, then our vet may ask a nurse to help hold your cat to make the procedure as safe and comfortable for your cat as possible. If your cat is particularly nervous then one of our vets would be happy to give you advice on how to keep them calm.


We understand that visiting our vets can be scary and stressful for your cat, so we try to make the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If you have any questions about how you can help keep your cat calm and settled during their visit, then one of our team will be happy to help you.

Four Legged Adventures in Kingston

Pet Corner: Written by Goddard Veterinary Group’s Guest Social Editor, Nacho from The Four Legged Foodies

Now, we all know how much I love my friends at Goddard Veterinary Group Kingston (especially Katy who gives me bacon flavoured treats) and I’m delighted to share my Kingston adventures with all the other Goddard’s doggies!

Kingston upon Thames is an ancient market town in South West London with a large shopping area, riverside restaurants and easy access to two Royal Parks. Kingston has a plethora of dog friendly pubs and a few restaurants. It is also my home town so here are some of my favourite things to do!


Walkies

With two beautiful Royal Parks in the borough, Richmond Park in the North and Bushy in the South, there is plenty of outdoor adventures to be had. Richmond Park is the largest Royal park in London, so large you can go there for years and still not see all of it.

With a combination of large open spaces and wooded areas, the parks have something for everyone, I love to run and jump over fallen branches while Archie is happy to stroll along at a slower pace. And both have water for the swimmers or those who just like to paddle, like us! You can even spend the whole day with a leisurely picnic or try and steal someone else’s!

Both parks do have wild deer so be careful if you are a chaser!

Shopping

The first place to stop off is mine and Archie’s favourite local shop, Woofs a Daisy. This is THE place in Kingston to get all you need for your adventures from collars and leads to toys and lots and lots of fabulous tasty treats.

If your pooch likes to join you in a spot of retail therapy, well behaved dogs on leads are welcome in John Lewis and West Elm. Kingston’s ancient market is a little piece of London history and has been there since the year 838! Imagine how many doggies have walked through there since then.

The market square has food stalls every day and regular events throughout the year with plenty of seating for you and your dog.

Activities

If parks aren’t your thing, then we recommend a lovely stroll along the river or better still a spot of sailing.

Pooches of all sizes are welcome on GoBoat which is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Pack a picnic (don’t forget the dog treats) and hop aboard for a leisurely cruise down the Thames towards Hampton Court Palace.

We have seen a few dogs getting involved in Paddle Boarding on the Thames if you’re brave enough, you can also hire them at the riverside. I’ve been told I’m not brave enough but secretly think it’s the humans who aren’t!

Eating and Drinking

In good tradition, we saved the best for last! Here are our favourite dog friendly places for those well-earned refreshments after all that walking, shopping and general adventuring.

The Ram – Situated on the riverside, this pub is super dog friendly and has a large outdoor space facing the river. Perfect for dinner after your GoBoat adventure!

The Canbury Arms  – A short stroll from Goddard’s Kingston you will find this friendly neighbourhood pub who absolutely adore dogs. Dogs are welcome in the large bar area and courtyard garden. I’m told the human food here is exceptional too!

Poor Boys – This is a fabulous place close to the river where we are welcome inside or on the terrace. The humans love the food here which is from New Orleans and we are usually lucky enough to get some because the portions are big!

Pottery Tapas Bar – Just down the road from Goddard’s Kingston is this amazing tapas restaurant with a beautiful secluded rear garden. We are allowed inside too and the humans enjoy a sneaky cocktail or two here.

Other great dog friendly pubs in Kingston include: The Bishop, The Boaters Inn, The Albert, The Black Horse, The Queens Head.


We do hope you enjoy your visit to Kingston and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Archie and me! Keep an eye on Goddard Veterinary Group’s Pet Corner for more from me and my humans, in the meantime, why not visit us on Instagram?GVG Guest Social Editor

@the4leggedfoodies
@goddardvets

Lots of woof, Nacho x


Please note that any advice given is the view of the blog author and is not necessarily the view or advice of Goddard Veterinary Group. Always seek advice directly from your own vet.

Top 10 tips for pets this firework season

From Bonfire Night to New Year’s Eve, over the years we’ve created a whole season of fireworks. Now, we’re all in favour of this, the more chances we get to celebrate, the better! But sadly many pets don’t feel the same way. In this blog, we’ve outlined our top 10 tips on how to keep your dogs, cats, and other pets safe this firework season.


TIP 1: DESENSITISE YOUR DOGS AND CATS

If your pet is afraid of the loud noises, start desensitisation therapy as early as you can. Try downloading firework sound effects from Dogs Trust and play them very, very quietly. Reward your pet for staying calm, and over weeks or even months, gradually increase the volume so they get used to the sound.

TIP 2: MAKE SURE THEY ARE MICROCHIPPED

Panicking pets tend to run, but they’re not so fussy where they run to! If they DO escape and are microchipped you can be sure you’ll be reunited again.

TIP 3: USE PHEROMONES

There are pheromone products available for cats and dogs such as Feliway and Adaptil. They are very effective at reducing stress and anxiety levels. Start using them at least 2-3 weeks before fireworks season starts if possible.

TIP 4: TRY OUT SOME CALMERS

There are a wide range of herbal and nutritional calmers on the market; some of which we stock and can recommend. Although the evidence for Zylkene isn’t conclusive, we think it really can help settle animals down if given over a prolonged period!

TIP 5: BUILD A NICE NEST

Your pets need to be kept safe and secure, with a suitable nest or den to hide in. This is especially important for dogs and cats, but also applies to rabbits and small furries kept in open cages or hutches. Make sure they can hide themselves away when the displays start!

TIP 6: KEEP YOUR ANIMALS SAFELY INDOORS

It may be a little tricky but make sure your cat and dog are safely inside. Not only will it stop them escaping (and then potentially coming to harm), but it will also muffle any scary sounds and frightening lights.

TIP 7: LIGHTPROOF AND SOUNDPROOF HUTCHES, CAGES AND AVIARIES

If possible, rabbits and other small pets in cages or hutches should also be brought inside — or at least, away from sight and sound of the fireworks. For example, a large hutch can usually be moved into a garage or shed. For cage birds, the aviary isn’t usually movable, but the bright flashes can panic birds into a smother. As a result, we recommend carefully covering the aviary (while leaving lots of air-holes!) to minimise any risk.

TIP 8: KEEP TO A NORMAL ROUTINE

Many pets are very sensitive to changes in routine and timing and can put them on edge. So as much as possible, keep everything the same. You really don’t need any extra stress — and neither do they!

TIP 9: DON’T REWARD FEARFUL BEHAVIOUR

Of course, if your dog is afraid, your cat is scared, or your rabbit is terrified, it’s only natural to try and comfort them. However, you need to be careful. Excessive fuss and treats can reinforce the fearful behaviour — as they learn this is what they need to do to get your attention! As a rule of thumb, make a moderate fuss of them if they come to you, but don’t go to them, or dramatically change the way you react. Remember, pets can pick up on our stress levels as well as vice versa, so it can spiral out of control!

TIP 10: COME AND TALK TO US

If your pet is really, really stressed and you’re worried they’ll hurt themselves — come and talk to us. Not only can we give you personalised and tailored advice, but our vets can, if necessary, prescribe anti-anxiety medications to relieve short-term stress, fear and panic.

Nacho’s Top Dog-Friendly Staycations in the UK

Pet Corner: Written by Goddard Veterinary Group’s Guest Social Editor, Nacho from The Four Legged Foodies


This year is all about the staycation! The humans have decided not to travel on those strange metal bird things and leave us behind. Instead, they are exploring our wonderful country and that means we can go with them! Archie has stayed in lots of hotels but from now on he must get a twin room because this summer, I’m coming too!

Here are some of our favourite dog friendly hotels where you can take that well earnt break this summer. We don’t like to miss out at mealtimes, so they all have dog friendly restaurants too!


Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter is a really cool hotel in East London who are so dog friendly we even get our own check in forms! In the rooms, four legged friends will find a bed, bowl and towel – which was handy as we arrived on one of the wettest days ever. The whole ground floor is given over to space to relax with the humans including bars and a restaurant and we pooches are welcome everywhere. The space is typically Shoreditch uber cool and provides some great photo opportunities for the gram!

Top tip: Nearby Victoria Park is great for walkies.

Mama Shelter, 437 Hackney Rd, London E2 8PP

The Hoxton

Another cool hotel with an urban vibe is The Hoxton. They have 3 locations in London and we have tried them all so can verify their dog friendliness! Again, we get a comfy bed, bowls and treats in the room and we doggies are allowed to dine in the bar and lobby areas (just not the main restaurants).

Between the 3 hotels you will be perfectly placed to explore most of London so why not book a stay in each?

The Hoxton Holborn, Southwark and Hoxton

The Gallivant

Just a 2-hour drive from London is the beautiful Camber Sands which is a huge stretch of sandy beach where doggies are permitted all year round. Opposite the beach you will find The Gallivant which is a fabulously dog friendly hotel, spa and restaurant. The rooms are all beautifully decorated with plenty of light and there are always treats on offer in the lounge/bar area. We can dine with the humans in the bar or on the covered outdoor terrace.

The hotel is perfectly placed for the beach and nearby is the quintessential English harbour town of Rye and the stunning landscape of Dungeness.

The Gallivant, Camber, East Sussex TN31 7RB

Sheraton Grand London Park Lane

Sounds posh doesn’t it? Well it is, but then so are we! Doggies up to 18 kilos are welcome to join their humans for no extra charge at the Sheraton Grand which is ideally placed for exploring some of the main sights of London and exploring the Royal Parks. While you are staying here, your nearest neighbour will be the Queen.

Top Tip: The best thing about staying here is the hotel bar Smith & Whistle where we have our very own dogtail menu!

Sheraton Grand London, Piccadilly, London W1J 7BX

South Place Hotel

This is a fabulous hotel in the heart of the City of London where we doggies get spoilt as much as the humans.

In your room at The South Place Hotel you will find a King size dog bed, toys, bowls and plenty of treats and we can join the humans in the bar area or the very Instagrammable Secret Garden Room (sorry no pooches in the Michelin starred restaurant).

Top Tip: We can confirm that the Secret Garden is also a great place for a private function!

South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London EC2M 2AF

Tapnell Farm, Isle of Wight

Okay, so not strictly a hotel this one but if you are more of an adventurous outdoorsy dog then we can highly recommend a spot of glamping at Tapnell Farm on the Isle of Wight. Getting to the island from London is super easy. Lymington is less than a 2-hour drive and the crossing from there takes only 20 minutes

My human isn’t keen on camping but even she enjoyed our stay here as the tent had a full kitchen, bathroom and even heating. There is a great burger restaurant on site too.

If you’re thinking of visiting the Isle of Wight check out our blog with loads more tips and recommendations.

Tapnell Farm, Newport Road, Yarmouth, IOW PO41 0YJ


All this talk has got me into the holiday mood! I’m going to speak to my humans about our next dog-friendly staycation… I think I deserve one after all this hard work! Keep an eye on Goddard Veterinary Group’s Pet CornerGVG Guest Social Editor for more from me and my humans, in the meantime, why not visit us on Instagram?

@the4leggedfoodies
@goddardvets

Nacho x