Dogs become fat because of overfeeding, not lack of exercise, writes vet Sasha Nowell.

More than 30 per cent of canines in New Zealand are overweight. And, while a fat pet may appear normal and happy, it is unlikely to be healthy. There is a normal healthy weight range for a dog, but there is also an unhealthy range, leading up from fat, to obese, to morbidly obese. There is never an acceptable excuse for an overweight pet other than some rare medical conditions.

In the wild, a dog has to learn to eat fast and gorge as there is rarely food available as readily as we provide it in a domesticated environment. Because they may not know when the next meal will be available, they are driven to eat as much as they can at once. This...

Designate A Quiet Place

KITTEN PICBefore you bring your kitten home, designate a spare bedroom or quiet area that you can close off and set up with food, water, litter tray, bed, toys and scratching post. Kittens need to become familiar with their new home before they feel completely comfortable. An entire house can be overwhelming all at once so a quiet place on its own will help your kitten gain confidence. 

Kitten Proofing Your Home

Kittens are curious little rascals and their favourite toys might be harmful to them – things like the cords on blinds, electrical/computer cords, pot plants, stove tops etc. They can also do a damage with their needle-like claws by climbing on curtains and furniture. So, a certain amount of...

Do you love your pooch but not the unsightly yellow patches it leaves on your lawn? Here’s how to banish lawn burn once and for all…

Dog Urine - The Facts

Dogs have a high level of nitrogen in their urine, so when they toilet on your lawn, the concentrated amount of this chemical often burns the grass. Lawn burn is usually worse with large dogs (for obvious reasons!), as well as female dogs because they squat to urinate and empty their entire bladder at once, whereas male dogs aim at trees, bushes or fences in a variety of places.

Prevention & Treatments

Your pooch’s diet can also have an impact on the state on your lawn. Feed your canine the highest-quality food your budget will allow, ensuring it doesn’t exceed the...

Moving house is usually stressful for everyone involved, and that includes your pet. In all the upheaval, imagine what it’s like for your animal friends, with their normal routine gone and everyone preoccupied with different things. Your pet’s familiar world – smells, favourite sleeping spots and household objects – has changed dramatically, and it may find it hard to cope. Here’s how to make the moving experience less stressful for your pets.

General Tips

Keep your pet away from the moving activity by confining it to a room where it will feel safe and can’t escape. Tell the movers where your pet is so they don’t inadvertently let it out.

Alternatively, put your pet in a boarding kennel or cattery for the duration of the move....

As we become increasingly more health conscious about what we eat, there is growing awareness that what we feed our pets is also important to their health, vitality and wellbeing. 

More of us are switching to what we see as a more natural diet, avoiding anything highly processed, or containing artificial preservatives, colours and flavours, plus taking the time to read and understand food labels. One of the reasons for this could be due to the increasing incidence of health problems, such as allergies and obesity, which we feel may be linked to what we, and our pets, are eating.

This changing mood among consumers has resulted in a growing number of pet-food manufacturers developing products that are more biologically appropriate...