COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

How to safely transport guinea pigs

Guinea pigs, like all small furries, are not natural travellers. Taking them away from home can be stressful for everyone. So, if you need to get your guinea pig from A to B this summer, why not follow our Vet Kate’s advice on minimising stress and maximising the chances of a successful trip for you and your pets?

Kate’s Small Furry travel tick list:

  1. Get a suitable pet carrier

Your furry pal is going to need a place to rest, hide, and maybe even play. Get a highly rated pet carrier and make sure it’s big enough for them to move around in, but small enough so they don’t get thrown around. It’s got to be chew proof too.

     2. Get them used to it

Don’t wait until the day and just put them in and go. Your pets will be much less stressed if you get them used to their travel carrier by letting them play around in it for a week or two before you travel. You could also start with short journeys around the block to see how they handle it and if you need to make any changes to their setup.

     3. Plan ahead

Before you travel, have a think about the trip. Do you have enough food & water? Can you travel at a cooler/quieter time of day? How will you clean up any mess? Can you take a route that doesn’t have speed bumps or involve a fast road? Taking a few minutes to think these things through will make the trip less stressful.

     4. Stick together

If your pet has a pal, then make sure you take them both on the journey. They will naturally lend each other support.

     5. Taking your pet on public transport

If you’re planning on using public transport, first check their rules of carriage, then do a few practice-runs at quiet times. Finally, make sure you travel when it’s cool.

There you go, for the very few times you’ll be moving your guinea pig, you now have all the basic info you need to make the journey less stressful for everyone.

The advice above is good for most small furries. However, if you do feel like you need species specific advice, please call our team at Walton Lodge Veterinary Surgery on 01202 747678 and we can talk through your pet’s specific needs.

Why all Dorset cats need a microchip in 2022

You have probably heard the old saying about cats and curiosity being a dangerous combination, so how do you give them any kind of safety net as they embark on a life of adventure? Identification, that’s how.

June is National Microchipping Month, so whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, read on to discover why all cats in Dorset need a microchip, by law, in 2022.

Book a cat microchip

Find your lost cat

While some cats probably shudder at the thought of leaving their favourite sofa, let alone the back garden, other cats can wander for miles. What all cats have in common though, is the ability to get picked up by a helpful passer-by or an animal warden for looking lost and taken to a veterinary practice or rescue centre.

Most cats don’t wear a collar and ID tag so without any form of identification, reuniting the two of you could be impossible. When the owner cannot be found, cats are typically put up for rehoming.

The team at Walton Lodge Veterinary Surgery recommend cat microchipping as the best way of ensuring your feline friend can be quickly reunited with you. Contact us to book a cat microchip appointment.

New cat microchip law UK

‘Lost & found’ isn’t the only reason our Poole veterinary team recommend cat microchipping.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has announced that cat microchipping will become compulsory in the UK in 2022 as part of a larger animal welfare action plan. The move is aimed at making more cats identifiable, in turn helping with issues such as cat thefts, strays, and deceased cats left by the road following traffic accidents.

This new law, which will carry a fine of £500 for non-compliance, is welcomed by many cat charities including Cats Matter and Cats Protection.

As part of the legislative changes, all cats over 20 weeks of age (unless there is an animal health or welfare reason certified by a Vet) must be microchipped by law. This coincides with the typical age kittens can be neutered from, so both procedures can be done by our team here at Walton Lodge Veterinary Surgery before your kitten ventures outside. If your cat is already neutered, microchipping only takes a few minutes. Call us for more information on 01202 747678.

What does cat microchipping involve?

Microchips are tiny electronic devices, no bigger than a grain of rice, which are injected under the skin on the back of a cat’s neck. The procedure is quick and perfectly safe.

Your cat’s microchip carries your unique registration number, which links to a database where all your contact information is stored. One of our Poole veterinary surgeons or nurses, and staff at some animal shelters, can scan the microchip and access the database to get your details.

It is likely to also be an offence to not keep your contact details up to date on the database, as it is with dogs. And why wouldn’t you? Out of date contact details are no use to your cat!

Don’t delay, book your cat’s microchipping today

At Walton Lodge Veterinary Surgery, we recommend that owners get ahead of this new law and get their cat microchipped as soon as possible. The unthinkable could happen today and a microchip could make all the difference in reuniting you with your cat.

Arrange your cat’s microchipping today

A rabbit microchip? Poole Vets have this advice

You are probably familiar with dogs and cats being microchipped, but what about rabbits? With it being National Microchipping Month in June, our Poole veterinary team are here to tell you everything you need to know about microchipping rabbits.

Contact us about rabbit microchipping

Is your rabbit secure in your home and garden? You would hope so, but rabbits are inquisitive creatures and their curiosity can get them into trouble.

What would you do if your rabbit got lost? Rabbits do not typically wear a collar & ID tag so with no identification, anyone finding your pet would not know who or where to return them to. This is why microchipping rabbits is a good idea.

What is rabbit microchipping?

Microchips are tiny electronic devices that contain all the data needed to trace you if someone finds your lost pet. A microchip is about the same size as a grain of rice. It is implanted just under the skin (usually between the shoulder blades) via an injection. Microchips are designed to last for life and should cause no bother to your pet. If an animal is deemed large enough, our team at Walton Lodge Vets can microchip them – ask us about microchipping your rabbit.

How is microchipping helpful?

A microchip stores a unique code, which is matched to the owner’s details on a central online database. Walton Lodge Veterinary Surgery and other veterinary practices, as well as some animal rescue centres, have special microchip scanners to reveal the code. If you do not keep  our contact details up to date on the central database, it may not be possible to reunite you with your rabbit.

Benefits of rabbit microchipping

Microchipping is currently the most effective way to reunite pets with their owners if they are brought into a vet practice or animal shelter without an ID tag – this could be due to a successful escape attempt or if a stolen pet is recovered. With no way to identify the owner,  pets are typically put up for rehoming. Pet theft isn’t just a dog and cat owner issue. Since the start of COVID, pet thefts across a variety of species have  risen. In 2021, Darius – the world’s largest rabbit – was stolen from his garden hutch in Worcestershire. Read the BBC news story about Darius here.

The Government Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a Pet Theft Taskforce policy paper in September last year, which outlined measures being taken to tackle the rising number of pet thefts. One of the proposed measures is to have vet  practices scan all new pets at their first appointment.  You can read the full DEFRA report here.

The bottom line is, without any form of identification, pets have little to no chance of being reunited with their owners should the worst happen. Rabbit microchipping is a low-cost, simple way to give your pet rabbit a traceable form of identification and give you peace of mind.

Get your rabbit microchipped

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