It's that time of the year when people up and down the country put heart before head and buy a pet for a loved one without thinking through the realities of owning and caring for an animal long-term.
Animals can be a wonderful addition to a family - just not when they're gifted to an unsuspecting recipient during one of the most chaotic times of the year. The following are some reasons why...
Just six months ago, Kayla was one of millions of UK pets who are overweight or obese. Pet obesity is something seen every day in veterinary practices across the country and our research shows around one in three dogs, and one in four cats are overweight.
Following World Aids Day yesterday there's been a lot of awareness and media coverage about the disease and the virus that causes it (HIV), but you may not be so familiar with a similar virus called FIV. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is the deadly feline version of HIV and can lead to the breakdown of a cat's immune system. The disease has no cure but can be easily prevented.
Recently I had the great pleasure of attending the first ever 'Dogs in Society' conference arranged by APGAW- the All Party Group for Animal Welfare - a group of MPs, animal welfare organisations, and campaigners using the influence of politicians and experts to raise welfare of animals both nationally and internationally.
The rationale for introducing a register is simple: many sellers of crossbred dogs make false promises about the health and origin of their dogs and a register could help regulate the trade.
Within 24 hours of the pilot scheme being introduced, NAWT staff noticed dogs were calmer and more relaxed, and the noise level of barking had dropped significantly. All the dogs, with the exception of two, were clean in their kennels within that time span.
I'm divorced and I have a lovely six-year-old son. I also have a six-year-old cat. And that is my family. Loving cats is perfectly normal. Actually I would go so far as to argue that being a cat lady is actually pretty damn cool and I think more women should try it.
Whilst fireworks are great fun for us, for millions of our pets, Bonfire Night and the firework season is a terrifying nightmare. Our pets don't understand the loud bangs and their hearing is so good they can hear distant fireworks we might not even notice.
Most of us can sleep soundly in the knowledge that we're highly unlikely to catch disease from our pets. We're more likely to get woken up in the wee small hours or scratched, either accidentally or purposefully, if we choose to share our bed with a feline. Dogs, on the other hand, are usually well behaved and will love to snuggle up to their human pack member...
After a few hours of trying a few different things she left some notes and went. I was hoping for some super nanny style results but instead was just a lot of the same things we had been trying, also Poppy isn't food motivated at all (unlike me) and a lot of her ideas and suggestions were rewarding with treats - so that was that out the window.
It's astonishing that dogs still love us humans, no matter what we put them through, however horribly we abuse them. That however traumatised, they can come back from the brink and live fulfilling lives.
We've repeatedly asked PIF to explain how pet shops might obtain puppies from responsible breeders but of course PIF has not even attempted a response, as by definition this is impossible; pet shops do not obtain their puppies from responsible breeders.
Dogs are part of the fabric of British life, but some dog breeds are more likely to make it into our hearts and homes than others - and it seems that Instagram is the latest social media craze to impact on the type of dog that we are choosing.
Although we have recently introduced guidance to say that vets and veterinary nurses cannot refer to an unqualified colleague as a veterinary nurse, technically, anyone may use the title - even if they don't have a day of training or a clue about how to treat an animal. To put it quite frankly - the title 'veterinary nurse' has less protection in law than 'Melton Mowbray pork pie'!
In every sector there are good and bad. Good doctors and bad doctors, good bus drivers and bad bus drivers, the same goes for plumbers, builders, postmen, managers, customer service and every other job you can think of, so with this in mind you will come across a bad veterinary surgeon, nurse, receptionist , but in my experience they are few and far between.