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Pet Health

We know that owning a pet is a big commitment and there will be times when you need some expert advice to help keep them happy and in good health. Read our FAQs below to find out more about treating worms and fleas, grooming, exercise and general pet care.

Intestinal worms

How can I tell if my pet has worms?

In the early stages of infection, it’s difficult to detect worms. In most cases you won’t even know your pet has them, as the worms stay hidden inside the gut. Mature tapeworms start shedding egg-filled segments, which irritate the anus as they wriggle out (these may look like small grains of rice). In dogs, this causes them to ‘scoot’ or drag their bottom along the ground. Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhoea, a dull coat, loss of appetite, lack of energy, and – especially in puppies and kittens – a pot belly.

Why is it necessary to treat my pet for worms?

There are lots of reasons why you should regularly worm your pet. Not only does it promote good health and reduce environmental contamination, it also helps combat worm-related diseases that can be harmful to pets. There are public health considerations associated with worms too, as they can be passed on to humans, especially younger children. Bayer has a wide range of tried and tested products that are suitable for treating pets to help them stay worm-free.

At what age should I start worming my pet?

It’s quite common for puppies to be born with roundworm larvae present in their gut, having been exposed to them while still in their mother’s womb. Therefore, it’s advisable to start worming when they’re two weeks old, and to continue worming once a fortnight until they are 12 weeks old. From 12 weeks of age onwards, they should be wormed at least once every three months. It’s also advisable to treat the mother at the same time as the puppies.

In contrast, kittens aren’t born with worm larvae in the gut, but they often become infected when they suckle their mother’s milk, so it’s usually advised to start treating them for roundworms when they’re six weeks old. Continue treating every three weeks until they are four months old. After this, they should be treated at least every three months.

How often should I worm my pet?

Adult dogs and cats should be treated at least four times a year – once every three months. However, puppies and kittens, cats that hunt and eat mice, pets that have access to uncooked meat and pets experiencing repeated flea problems may need treating more frequently.

What types of worm does Drontal kill?

Drontal is the market leader and used regularly, it is clinically proven to kill every type of intestinal worm commonly found in UK dogs and cats including, roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm.

Are there any side effects to using Drontal?

In general, Drontal Tasty Bone for dogs, Drontal Plus XL and Drontal Cat are very well tolerated, although there is a small chance they may cause vomiting or diarrhoea. If you notice any side effects, speak to your vet immediately.

Do I give Drontal with or without food?

It’s not necessary to starve your pet before treating them with Drontal, so it’s fine to administer the tablets with food if you wish to. Always read the instruction leaflet included in the pack for more information.

Can humans catch worms from pets?

Yes, certain types of worms can be transmitted from animals to humans. These worms are said to have ‘zoonotic potential’. The dog roundworm, Toxocara canis, and cat roundworm, Toxocara cati, can both infect humans. Human infection occurs when a person swallows microscopic worm eggs, having picked them up from a contaminated pet or soil – young children are at the greatest risk.

How do I administer Drontal?

Drontal Plus has been made even tastier for dogs, and comes as a Tasty Bone shape – Drontal Tasty for Dogs. These can be given whole or hidden in food. Drontal Oral Suspension for Puppies comes in liquid form and can be given by syringe.

How do I prevent worm infection?

Routine worming is the only way to effectively control worm infections. Drontal kills every type of intestinal worm commonly found in UK dogs and cats.

My cat often catches mice. Does this make worm infection more likely?

Yes. A very common type of tapeworm often infects mice and other small rodents; they can also pass on roundworm infection. We recommend that adult cats and dogs are treated at least every three months with Drontal, but if your cat is a regular hunter, they may need treating more often than this, for example every month.

Fleas

Why should I treat my pet for fleas?

Fleas can cause a number of diseases in cats and dogs, including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) and anaemia. They are also carriers of tapeworm – your pet can become infected with tapeworm if they accidentally ingest a flea whilst grooming. Used once a month, Advantage is a fast, effective treatment for fleas in cats and dogs. Advantage can also be used in rabbits.

How often should I use Advantage?

Advantage should be used on a monthly basis for the treatment of fleas. In rabbits it can be used weekly to treat an outbreak.

Are fleas a year-round problem?

Modern homes are the perfect breeding ground for fleas and other parasites. Fitted carpets and central heating offer an ideal environment for them to thrive, so it’s recommended that Advantage flea treatment is used all year round at regular intervals.

How should I treat a flea outbreak in my home?

Regular cleaning is essential to get on top of any flea outbreak in the home. Make sure you wash and hoover your pet’s bedding and any other parts of the house where they sleep. It’s a good idea to thoroughly hoover all carpets and soft furnishings as the eggs, larvae and pupae often remain hidden. When dealing with an infestation it is also advisable to use a suitable household flea spray. Make sure you have also treated all pets regularly with an appropriate product. Advantage spot-on is scientifically proven to treat fleas on your pet and larvae in the surrounding environment wherever your pet goes; thus treating your pet and the home.

How does Advantage kill fleas?

Once applied, Advantage rapidly spreads across your pet’s skin along the lipid layer. Fleas don’t have to bite your pet to be killed by Advantage; it starts working within hours.

What’s the connection between fleas and worms?

Fleas are often infected with the larval stage of the flea tapeworm. If cats or dogs swallow an infected flea whilst grooming, worms will develop in the gut. That’s why it’s recommended that pets are treated regularly with both Drontal and Advantage.

Grooming

How often should I groom my pet?

The amount of grooming your pet needs will depend on the length of their fur. Long hair can cause fur balls when pets groom themselves, so it’s wise to groom long-haired pets every couple of days. Short-haired animals require less grooming, but if you notice fur has become matted or tangled, brush straight away. Grooming is not only a great way to bond with your pet, it’s also an effective way of checking for fleas and other skin problems.

Can I trim my pet’s claws myself?

Yes, but it’s essential to use the correct type of nail clippers and the right technique. Only ever snip the white part of the claw; the pink part is called the quick and is full of nerves and blood vessels. Cutting here will make the nail bleed and hurt your pet. Ideally, claws should be trimmed every few weeks. It’s better not to attempt to cut all the claws in one go, and always have some treats ready for your pet, so that they learn to associate having their claws clipped with getting a reward! If you’re not confident about trimming the claws yourself, get a professional to do it.

My pet gets anxious when groomed. What can I do?

If your pet is averse to grooming, it might be a good idea to visit a qualified pet groomer. Not only will they have the tips and techniques in place to distract your pet and get the job done quickly, the tools and equipment used in a grooming parlour will often be of a higher quality than those you use at home.

How often should I bathe my pet?

Washing fur too often can strip it of its natural oils and lead to skin drying out. If your pet has rolled in something unpleasant, you’ll need to act fast and wash the fur, but in general stick to washing them once every four to six weeks unless advised otherwise by your vet. There are a wide range of pet-friendly products available on the market today, many containing natural ingredients that won’t harm sensitive skin. Avoid getting water in eyes and ears, as this will upset your pet.

Exercise

How much exercise should my dog have every day?

This depends on the age, breed and size of dog. Just like humans, a dog that is bored and unstimulated, is more likely to get into trouble, so lots of mental and physical stimulation is important for keeping dogs happy and healthy.

What are good exercises for cats?

Cats are natural born hunters, so activities that stimulate their natural hunting instincts are best. Attach a toy mouse to a piece of string and pull it around the house; your cat won’t be able to resist chasing it. You could also invest in a cat tower to keep them amused. Anything that encourages your cat to jump and run is generally very good for their health, but different animals will have different requirements, and if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, then speak to your vet about the level of exercise that’s appropriate.

My cat sleeps all day – is this normal?

Most cats sleep for 15-16 hours per day – double the amount of humans! Sleeping habits in cats are part of their natural evolution. In the wild, they have to hunt, stalk and chase prey to survive. Sleeping is a cat’s natural way of conserving energy between meals and is something domestic cats are very good at. Cats are also crepuscular, meaning they are most active during the twilight hours. If your cat seems unusually sleepy or lethargic it might be a good idea to get a vet to check for signs of anaemia or other illnesses.

General pet care

What other parasites is my pet at risk from?

Each pet is different and may be at risk from a number of different parasites. For more information visit www.itsajungle.co.uk. Dogs can also be at risk from the lungworm parasite, which they can pick up by accidentally ingesting infected slugs and snails. Visit www.lungworm.co.uk to find out more.

Why is it necessary to clear up my dog’s mess?

A single mature dog roundworm (Toxocara canis) can produce 85,000 eggs a day, these eggs are excreted in the dog’s poo. If you don’t clear it up, all of those eggs will stay in the environment, acting as a source of infection for other animals and possibly children too.

Petplan

Why do we recommend Petplan®?

We know how much your pet means to you, and have spent years researching the best products for pets and are the market leaders in parasite protection. Not all pet insurance is the same which is why it’s important to make sure you get the right protection for your pet! This is why we recommend Petplan® insurance, not only are they the UK’s No.1 pet insurer, but they have over 40 years’ experience of keeping pets healthy and owners happy.

Petplan® designs its policies to cover your pet for unexpected treatment, which is why they pay 97% of all the claims they receive. So you can rely on them to pick up the vet bill if something happens to your pet.

You also won’t be penalised for making a claim and Petplan® can pay your vet directly, so you often don’t have to pay upfront or fill in claim forms.

You’ll even get a 10% discount when you buy online, and when you insure more than one pet.

There is a range of plans to suit every budget from their quality 12-month Essential plan to their popular Covered For Life® options

Petplan

£3,000

per condition for 12 months in veterinary fees

Petplan

£4,000

per year in veterinary fees

Petplan

£7,000

per year in veterinary fees

Petplan

£12,000

per year in veterinary fees

Its easy to get the protection your pet deserves.

Get a quote

Petplan® is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited who administer the cover and Allianz Insurance plc who provide and underwrite the cover. Bayer plc is an Appointed Representative of Pet Plan Limited. Bayer plc, Animal Health Division UK, is not part of the Allianz (UK) Group.

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Legal and Compliance Department
Bayer plc.
400 South Oak Way
Green Park
Reading
Berkshire
RG2 6AD

Telephone: +44 (0)118 206 3000
e-mail: dataprotection-uk-eire@bayer.com

Corporate Data Protection Officer of Bayer AG:

Eva Gardyan-Eisenlohr
Telephone: +49 (0) 30 468 16924
E-mail: Central Data Protection

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© Bayer plc.
400 South Oak Way
Green Park
Reading
RG2 6AD

Tel: +44 (0) 118 206 3000
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