VET'S DIARY: Start your pet dog on a new spring fitness plan

So after the months of dark mornings and dark evenings of winter, spring is finally here. There are snowdrops and crocuses flowering and a few daffodils are starting to flower too.

Saturday, 24th February 2018, 1:37 pm
Updated Saturday, 24th February 2018, 2:15 pm
Some of the dogs belonging to staff at Alnorthumbria Vets, from top left, clockwise, there is Teal, Tizzy, Flynn, Tammie, Buddy, Jack and Ted.

As a result of the short days, we may not have been able to walk our dogs for as long as we wanted to and they, and we, may not be as fit and trim as we were before winter set in. But now that spring is here, with lighter mornings and evenings, we can go for more pleasant, light-filled walks.

If you think your dog or cat has gained a few pounds over winter and are wondering how to help them lose them, fear not as we have a crack team of qualified experienced nurses at Alnorthumbria Vets who are happy to give free dietary and nutritional advice. Please phone your surgery to book a free nurse clinic – they can’t give advice for human waistlines though.

As the weather warms up fleas and ticks start to become active so you might want think about updating your pet’s parasite treatment.

While everyone knows this is important, what maybe less known is that exposure to parasites can be influenced by the habitats your pet is exposed to.

This is another free service our team of nurses and receptionists can advise on. We can tailor treatment to your pet’s requirements, depending upon where they live, and we may alter the treatment depending on where they exercise.

Also, please be aware that spring often increases the amount of seaweed washed up onto our shores and, unfortunately, we see several dogs who decide to eat the stalks. They often play and chase them, chew them into smaller pieces and eat them.

This is especially important for holidaymakers who may not be aware of the risks.

Unfortunately, dogs can’t digest the stalks and they end up with an intestinal foreign body that, without surgery, will be fatal so please don’t allow your dog to eat these.