Monday, 30 December 2019

Tips for a pet-safe New Year's Eve

While New Year's Eve celebrations are fun for us, our pets can easily be scared by the hullabaloo that comes with it. Here are some tips for a pet-safe New Year's eve;
  • Exercise pets during the day- take dogs on a long walk. For cats, play with them for half an hour or more. If they are tired, pets are more likely settle down and rest later in the evening. 
  • With fireworks going off through the evening, it is best to keep cats indoors (provide a litter tray). When taking your dog out for a toilet break, do so in your garden and keep them on a lead so that you can stay close to them. Ensure that their collar is fitted correctly so that there is no chance of escape should they become frightened.
  • Keep the curtains closed, lights on and turn up the radio or TV to help muffle out the sounds of the fireworks. 
  • A little calm reassurance from you, should they seek it, will go along way. Don't fuss though as this can make the behaviour worse.
  • Try and ignore any fearful behaviour such as panting, pacing and whining. Continue to stay relaxed and carry on as if nothing has happened. 
  • Behave normally and praise your dog if they are relaxed with cuddles and a treat.

Party animal!

  • When guests are arriving and leaving, keep your pet away from the front door to reduce the risk of them escaping or becoming overexcited and jumping up. 
  • Provide a safe, cosy 'pet- zone' for your pet to retreat to, with water, their bedding and a favourite toy. Shut the curtains and leave a light on. Play some soothing music at low level. Be sure to check on them frequently as the celebrations get into full swing, but remind guests to give them space and leave them in peace. 
  • If your pets do interact with party guests, make sure that everyone knows not to feed your pet food or alcohol and be mindful of where leaving your plate and glass. This may seem self-explanatory, but some people may not be aware of the dangers of such behaviour.
  • Take care not to leave objects lying around that your pet could chew and swallow such as wine corks, cracker toys, corn on cob and kebab skewers. 
  • Party poppers and crackers can cause a fright - ensure that pets are in their safe area and away from the noise before they are pulled. 

Cats will tend to hide if scared. Do not try to coax them out if they are hiding. Before your party guests arrive make sure that your cat has some safe hideaway areas where they won't be bothered. Ensure that they can access their litter tray and food should they wish.

We wish you all a safe

 & happy New Year!

     The contents of the Arden House Animal Hospital website are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Veterinary Surgeon with any questions you may have regarding your animal’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Monday, 23 December 2019

Christmas and New Year opening times


In order to provide 24 hour care throughout the festive period, we are working with Vets Now to ensure your pets have the best possible care. We will continue to provide our own emergency service up until 4:00 pm on Tuesday 24th December, returning at 8:00 am on Friday 27th December. Vets Now will also provide all emergency care from 7:00 pm  on Tuesday 31st December until 8:00 am on Thursday 2nd January. 

If you need to access any emergency care throughout the festive period please telephone the usual clinic number on 01895 633 600 and listen carefully to the instructions on the answerphone message.

Vets Now are a dedicated emergency care provider based in Harrow;

Image result for pet christmas cartoons

Here are our opening hours;(consultation by appointment)


    • Monday 23rd Dec: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
    • Christmas Eve : 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    • Christmas Day: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Boxing Day: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Friday 27th Dec: 9:00 am -7:30 pm
    • Saturday 28th Dec: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
    • Sunday 29th Dec: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Monday 30th Dec: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
    • New Year's Eve: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    • New Year's Day: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Thursday 2nd January - 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
    • Friday 3rd January: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm


      • Monday 23rd Dec: 9:00 am -7:00 pm
      • Christmas Eve : 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      • Christmas Day: Closed (emergencies only)
      • Boxing Day: Closed (emergencies only)
      • Friday 27th Dec: 9:00 am -7:00 pm
      • Saturday 28th Dec: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
      • Sunday 29th Dec: Closed (emergencies only)
      • Monday 30th Dec: 9:00 am -7:00 pm
      • New Year's Eve: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      • New Year's Day: Closed (emergencies only) 
      • Thursday 2nd January - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      • Friday 3rd January - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm


        • Monday 23rd Dec: 9:00 am -12:00 noon and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
        • Christmas Eve: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
        • Christmas Day: Closed (emergencies only)
        • Boxing Day: Closed (emergencies only)
        • Friday 27th Dec: 9:00 am -12 noon & 2:00 pm -6:00 pm
        • Saturday 28th Dec: 9:00 am -12 noon 
        • Sunday 29th Dec: Closed ( emergencies only)
        • Monday 30th Dec: 9:00 am -12:00 noon & 2:00 pm -5:00 pm
        • New Year's Eve: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
        • New Year's Day: Closed (emergencies only)
        • Thursday 2nd January: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
        • Friday 3rd January: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm -6:00 pm
        Image result for christmas pet cartoons

        We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

        Further Information on Vets Now

        Vets Now are the leading provider of out of hours veterinary care in the UK. Vets Now works alongside your daytime practices to ensure pet owners have access to a vet whenever they need one regardless of the time. Their clinics are open when your daytime practice is closed.

        • Please always call your usual surgery telephone number and if they are closed please listen carefully to the instructions on the answerphone message about how to contact the duty veterinary surgeon.

        Who works in the Vets Now clinics?

        Fully qualified vets, nurses and receptionists are based in the clinic for the full duration of their shift.
        All staff receive regular training with a particular emphasis on emergency and critical care of small animals.
        How do you get in touch with Vets Now if you need to use the service?
        You can call the usual clinic number (01895 633 600) and listen to an answer machine message giving the number of your local Vets Now clinic. Call the clinic with details of the problem and qualified staff will give you advice on what do.
        All telephone calls are logged and recorded for reference purposes.

        Can you just phone for advice and how much will that cost?

        We have subscribed on your behalf to the Vets Now Out of Hours service. Their trained staff can offer advice over the phone and although an appointment is always offered it is not always necessary. In fact only around 20% of calls result in an appointment. Telephone advice is provided free of charge as part of the complete service.

        If your pet needs to be treated, how do you pay?

        Vets Now is an independent company so you will be asked to pay at the time of treatment. Vets Now accept all major debit and credit cards or cash payments. Details of Vets Now fees are available from the practice.

        Are Vets Now fees covered by pet insurance?

        Vets Now fees should be covered in the same way as any other veterinary fees by your insurance company. If you are in any doubt, check the detail of your policy with your provider.

        Saturday, 7 December 2019

        Pet safety during the festive period

        December is a busy time of year with Christmas preparations underway and celebrations in full swing. Below are some tips to help your pet stay safe during this festive season.

        Festive food and drink

        Remember to keep food and drink out of the reach of pets and remind your guests to do the same! Some foods that are commonly found in the household at this time of year that pose a risk to our pets are;

        🍫Chocolate. Chocolate toxicity is more common around this time of year as there is more chocolate around the home. Keep it out of the reach of pets, not forgetting Christmas tree chocolates, advent calendars or chocolates wrapped and left under the Christmas tree! 

        🍬Xylitol. Some sweets contain the artificial sweetener, Xylitol that is harmful if eaten by our pets. It causes low blood sugar and seizures.

        πŸ‡Grapes and dried fruits such as sultanas, raisins and currants including Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas cake can be toxic to pets if ingested.The active toxin present in grapes and raisins is not fully understood and whilst one pet may be unaffected by eating multiple grapes or raisins, another pet could suffer from acute kidney failure from eating as little as one grape or raisin. The difficulty is not knowing which pets might be affected to a more serious degree, therefore the best thing is to avoid your pets having access to grapes or raisins at any time.

        🌰Nuts. With nut consumption peaking at Christmas times, there are associated risks for pets. The nuts and shells can be a choking hazard and can also cause intestinal problems. Macadamia nuts present an additional risk to dogs as ingestion has been associated with vomiting and weakness.
        Onion (including gravy). Onions and products containing onions, such as gravy and stuffing, can cause gastrointestinal upset and lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia in cats and dogs. The related vegetables leeks, garlic and spring onions can also have the same effects.
        🍷Alcohol. Ingestion of alcohol can make a pet ill. Make sure that drinks glasses are kept off the floor to reduce the risk of your pet accidentally consuming alcohol. 

        If you think that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn't have, call your vet immediately. 


        Bones from meat, poultry or fish present a dangerous threat to pets. Cooked bones are brittle and therefore can splinter when chewed. This can lead to the digestive tract being pierced or an obstruction. As well as not feeding scraps with cooked bones in, ensure pets do not tear open bin bags or scavenge bones from bins. 
        It is also important to keep food caddies sealed and out of reach. Mouldy food in bins start to produce a poisonous substance called mycotoxins. Most food will begin to produce mycotoxins as it goes mouldy but common examples include:

        • Bread
        • Cheese
        • Cooked pasta
        • Nuts
        • Fruit (from rubbish bins or fruit that has fallen from trees)
        • Dog food
        • Compost heaps
        If you throw away a large amount of pasta, bread or another food that’s prone to going mouldy, think about emptying the waste bin there and then or later that night so it doesn’t have time to grow mouldy in your kitchen.
        Wash indoor and outdoor food caddies to stop any build up of mouldy residue. Make sure lids are locked in place and bins are sheltered if it's windy outside to stop them blowing over and exposing their contents.

        Tinsel and ribbons

        Given the chance, cats and kittens will play with ribbons used to wrap presents. These can be accidentally swallowed and become entangled in the cat’s intestines, causing life-threatening blockages. Playing with tinsel can cause the same problems in cats and other animals, including ferrets. Avoid this decoration.

        Christmas trees, baubles and fairy lights

        Many cats and kittens will feel compelled to climb Christmas trees, endangering themselves.

        It is advisable to ensure trees are securely based so that they are less likely to be felled by a curious cat. Limiting access to rooms containing a tree when unsupervised is a good idea. 

        Baubles are of particular fascination to cats. Glass baubles can shatter, creating sharp shards dangerous to animals and children. Dogs have been known to chew baubles and other decorations. This can lead to lacerations in the mouth or intestinal blockages.
        Fairy lights pose the possibility of pets getting tangled up in wires, which can cause an animal to panic and injure themselves, or they may be tempted to chew on them. Be aware of this hazard. Keep cables tidied out of reach or get a cable guard.

        Christmas plants

        Plants such as amaryllis, mistletoe, poinsettia, holly and ivy are popular at this time of year, but if nibbled by our pets, can be poisonous ( in varying degrees). Keep plants out of reach or move them to a secure room away from your pet, especially if you are not at home.

        Lilies (even small amounts of pollen) are very dangerous to cats – whether they are brushed against, licked or drink the water the flowers are kept in.
        Seek urgent advice from your vet should you suspect your pet has eaten any plants.

        Other hazards;

        πŸŽ„Bottle corks, corn on the cob, cocktail sticks and cracker toys. Ensure that they are tidied away or kept out of reach of pets. 

        πŸŽ„Ingestion of batteries is more common at this time of year. If the battery is chewed it can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning. If they are swallowed whole it is possible they will cause an obstruction. Call your vet if you suspect that your pet has chewed or swallowed a battery.


        If you think that your pet may have eaten something that they shouldn't have then swift action is necessary.

        Follow these four simple steps:

        Step 1Prevent your pet from eating any more.
        Step 2 - Phone your vet immediately!
        Step 3 - Stay calm and follow your vet's instructions.
        Step 4 - Collect the relevant wrapping and packaging.

             Make a note of our phone number and call us immediately - 01895 633600

        Further advice

        Christmas time often means a busy home, with friends and family coming together in seasonal spirit. Remember that new faces and more noise can be scary for your pet, so it's a good idea to provide them with a room in which they can retreat into for some peace without being disturbed.
        Be mindful of the front door opening with guests arriving and leaving. Make sure that dogs can't run out! Try to maintain your pet's normal routine, especially with feeding and exercise, to avoid them becoming too unsettled.

        Our poem summarises our Christmas message;

        Curiosity at Christmas

        Look at all the food to eat, with our paws we can just reach; 
        mince pies, chocolates, Christmas cake, and sausage rolls recently baked.
        So tempting to eat a little treat...sniff...lick…gobble…now we’re sick!

        A Christmas tree! Let’s climb to the top! It’s beginning to wobble, down we drop!
        Shiny glass baubles to swat with a paw, sees them shatter as they drop to the floor.

        Sparkly tinsel to pounce on and chase and presents tied up with colourful lace.
         So tempting to play with, lots of fun, until oops they’ve ended up in our tums!

        Sneak off to the kitchen so not to be heard.
        Raid the bin for the bones from the cooked Christmas bird.
        Excitable guests wanting to play, we need a quiet space out of the way.

        The moral of this poem goes, is
        whilst you’re having a festive doze,
        don’t forget to watch your pets
        so they don’t end up needing a trip to the vets!


            The contents of the Arden House Animal Hospital website are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Veterinary Surgeon with any questions you may have regarding your animal’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

        Monday, 2 December 2019

        Brrrr.......Bunnies and guinea pigs in Winter.

        Winter tips for outdoor pets

        Winter can be a difficult time for our outdoor pets. It is important to take steps to ensure that they remain happy and healthy throughout the cold months.

        Hutch position;

        If possible, move the hutch indoors to a cool room of the house or into a shed, porch or unused garage. Do not put the hutch in the garage if you park a car in it. The exhaust fumes are dangerous for them.

        If it is not possible to bring the hutch inside,then ensure that the hutch is in a sheltered area of the garden. It needs to be raised off of the ground, so if the hutch has not got long legs, place some bricks underneath. This will help to prevent the damp from the ground affecting the bottom of the hutch.

        Protect from the elements;

        Rabbits and guinea pigs need protection from draughts and damp!

        Check the hutch walls and roof to ensure that there are are no gaps through which rain and wind can get in. Put sheets of newspaper and a blanket or duvet onto the roof and let it hang down the back and sides of the hutch to provide extra insulation.Then protect it by securing a waterproof plastic sheet over the top (tarpaulin is a good choice) or you can purchase a waterproof hutch cover from a pet store. 

        Make the inside of the hutch warm;
        • Use layers of newspaper to line the base of the hutch. Newspaper is a good insulator.
        • Place a thick layer of super absorbent litter like Excel bedding and litter or Smartbedz on top of the newspaper. It will help to absorb urine and keep the hutch drier and warmer.
        • Provide lots of extra hay as bedding so that they can snuggle into it.
        • A cardboard box with a hole cut in one side and filled with some hay will give them somewhere a bit more insulated to sit. (Make sure that they have enough room in the rest of the hutch to stretch out).
        • A pet-safe microwaveable heat pad ( SnuggleSafe) is a safe option to add warmth on an icy night.

        The front of the hutch;

        During the daytime your rabbits and guinea pigs will welcome some fresh air and winter sun so leave the front uncovered. Ensure that the hutch has a bedroom section that they can retreat into. Should the weather be poor, a clear plastic or perspex sheet can be placed over the mesh front so that your pet can still see out, light can get in, but it keeps the wind and rain out. 

        The hutch front should be covered overnight.

        When covering the hutch front, It is important to make sure that there is sufficient ventilation - allow air to circulate through the hutch. Don't seal the hutch off completely.

        Each day;

        Your outdoor pets must be checked regularly.  ( three times a day )

        • Ensure that the hutch is not leaking and is still protected from the elements( e.g covers are in place and haven't blown away).
        • Check that their bedding is dry - damp, soiled bedding must be changed promptly.
        • A bottle snug
        • Provide them with fresh food (nuggets and hay) and fresh veggies.
        • Check water bottles frequently in case they have frozen. The drinking spout needs to be checked too as it can ice up. Have a couple of spare bottles available so that they can be swapped over if necessary.A bottle snug is a good idea to help prevent the water freezing - the water should still be checked.
        • Observe your pet to ensure that they have eaten and been to the toilet and that they are bright and alert. Any concerns should not be ignored.
        • If they appear sleepy or not really reacting to anything, you must book an urgent appointment with the vet.
        Remember that the hutch still needs a thorough clean each week.



        Exercise is still important during the Winter. Bring them indoors to a cool room for a run around ( supervise at all times) or let them have a short time in the garden ( as long as the grass is not soaking wet). Covering a run with tarpaulin provides a dry sheltered area for exercise. Position the run so that it gets the warm winter sunshine.
        Try to prevent your pet from getting too wet or cold. Should they get wet, towel them dry and allow them to warm up naturally indoors.

        Remember, your pets still rely on you for their regular routine. So even though it’s wet, miserable and cold out there, everything should remain as close to normal as possible.This includes feed time, play time, snuggle time, and cleaning time.

           So wrap up warm and head outside!