Teeth Brushing Tips

5 Simple steps to brushing your pets teeth

Keen to keep your pet’s mouth in sparkling shape, but not sure where to start?  Here are some handy tips that will hopefully make your lives a little bit easier when it comes to brushing time!

  1. Using pet toothpaste, smear a little onto your finger ans let your pet lick it off to get used to the taste.
  2. Pop some pet toothpaste on a finger brush, and gently rub it on your pet’s teeth for a short time only.  Reward them with lots of praise if they let you do this without any fuss.
  3. Gradually build this up, brushing their teeth more frequently and for longer periods.
  4. When they’re happy to accept the finger brush, move up to a full toothpaste, and repeat steps 2 and 3. (ask your vet about pet friendly brushes)
  5. Once your pet is happy with having their teeth brushed, try to do this on a daily basis.  It can make a huge difference to your pet’s dental health.

If you have any concerns about your pet’s dental health, please do not hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help.

Coronavirus Advice

We realise this is a worrying time for all our clients, and we ask that you help us to reduce the risk to our visitors and the practice so that we can continue to care for your pets.

  • If you or anyone in your immediate family/household are unwell or showing symptoms that could be attributable to the Coronavirus, we respectfully ask you not to visit the practice at the moment. If your pet requires urgent assistance please call us, so we can discuss the best option to take care of them.
  • Please make sure you use the hand sanitisers available when you visit the practice. Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective measures we can all take to protect ourselves and each other.
  • As you are all aware we can get pretty busy at times. In order to reduce any overcrowding please only allow your pet to bring one owner along to their appointment!
  • Should you wish to minimise your time around other people, you can wait in your car, call us from the car park to let us know you are here, we will call you in the practice once the vet is ready to see you.
  • We would like to avoid cash payments wherever possible so please bring you bank card for payment.
  • It is possible we may be able to help your pet without you bringing them in for an appointment. If you are unsure whether a visit is necessary please call us to discuss.

As the current situation is rapidly changing, we will keep you updated with any changes as they occur.

Vets Volunteer at Castrate Clinic

Last week, our vets Jordan and Éadaoin joined a team of equine vets to volunteer at a castration clinic in Lancashire.

These clinics are ran in conjunction with the British Horse Society and the BEVA (British Equine Veterinary Association) Trust, to provide discounted castrations and other routine healthcare advice for horses who may have not received veterinary care previously.

These clinics run in various locations throughout the country during the spring and autumn months.














To find out more, visit https://www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/welfare/our-campaigns/healthcare-and-education-clinics  or contact the BHS Welfare team via welfare@bhs.org.uk . Alternatively, to book a colt castration from the comfort of your horse’s own stable, please contact the Haven Large Animal team on 01482 898301











Haven Vet Group forms ‘Green Group’

We have recently formed a “Green Group” at Haven, with the aim of becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly practice. Look out for news on our green initiatives in the coming months. If you want to do your bit to go greener, here’s our top tips for sustainable pet-ownership:



  • Look for sustainably sourced pet food brands.
  • Consider the protein source – cats must have a meat-based diet but chicken or fish have a lower carbon impact than beef.
  • If your pet food contains fish, check it is MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified.
  • Try an insect-based protein – “Yora” makes complete dog food diets using insect protein.
  • Weigh out food accurately to reduce waste.
  • Switch to tinned cat food rather than pouches or find your nearest Terracycle point that collects and recycles pet food packaging.   “TerraCycle is Eliminating the Idea of    Waste® by recycling the “non-recyclable.” Whether it’s coffee capsules from your home, pens from a school, or plastic gloves from a manufacturing facility, TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste. 


  • Avoid plastic toys – instead look for those made from more sustainable or recycled materials such as hemp, bamboo, or rubber.
  • Use metal food bowls and consider dog coats made from recycled material.
  • Cats love cardboard scratch toys, which can be recycled if not wanted anymore.


Cleaning up

  • Try biodegradable poo bags.
  • Use cat litter made from newspaper or wood chips rather than clay or silica.
  • Consider composting dog poo, but only if it is not going to be used for any plants/vegetables that you intend to eat, due to the risk of parasites that can infect both dogs and people.



  • Reduce your car usage by doing more walks close to home rather than driving to exercise dogs.
  • If you must drive, couple it with other errands that require a vehicle, such as shopping, so that you aren’t using the car specifically to walk the dog.


Bath time

– Aim to use shampoos and grooming products which are biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.


Preventative Medicine

  • Talk to your vet about vaccinations, worming and neutering.
  • Not only do these have health and welfare benefits, but preventative healthcare will also help reduce the carbon impact of owning pets.
  • By preventing vaccinable disease and hormone-related diseases, we are avoiding the high carbon cost of treating these conditions and therefore benefiting the environment in the long term.

Travelling with your Pet & Brexit

Going on holiday with your pet this year? You might be wondering how Brexit will affect your plans.

The answer is… not at all!

Until the end of 2020 pets can still travel to the EU under the current pet travel rules, using the current UK-issued EU pet passport.

Got more questions? Give us a call or see this useful link for more information.


#travelwithmypet #Brexit

Haven’s Young Artists

Ever wondered what your child or grandchild thinks you do at work.  Well we have found out what some of them think and they’ve put pen to paper. Take a look at Haven’s young artists.


This is what Thomas age 7, thinks his Nanny does when she is at work.

And here are some other pictures from her other grandchildren, Jessica & Ellie.




Theo thinks his mum does this……




And here is another from Felix, age 4.











And lastly here is an interesting view of what Daniel Age 10 thinks his dad does at work….


Fleas in Winter !

Can your pet get fleas in winter?

In a natural setting, a dog or cat would be less likely to contract a flea infestation in

winter as the cold weather causes the fleas to lay dormant, but in the UK most pets are kept indoors in an artificial environment where the use of central heating allows the fleas to breed all year round.

PDSA statistics show that there is a 20% drop in the sale of flea treatments during the winter months. Vets believe this is because many owners simply do not realise that fleas are just as active in the winter as the summer months.

Artificial environments and the use of central heating

Contrary to popular belief, fleas do survive during the winter months, especially indoors; our warm houses provide the perfect breeding ground for fleas as they thrive in a warm and humid environment. People turn up the central heating to keep their homes warm, but this means that fleas are attracted to the home. Pet owners should take effective steps to rid their pets, and their homes, of these parasites and minimize the risk of infestation by carrying out continuous year-round treatment, even in the winter months.

To combat fleas during the winter, it is important to address both the pet and the environment, since fleas live a large part of their life cycle off of the pet and in the environment (house, bed, garden etc). Fleas need warm temperatures to survive. The inside of your home provides a warm environment to allow fleas to thrive year-round regardless

of seasons.

Treating pets in winter

Treating your pet is only part of the solution as you will have to treat your home and any other pets within your household too. Everything the dog or cat comes into contact with should be treated with a product recommended by your vet; otherwise, it is inevitable that the fleas will come back.

Fleas can cause very serious health problems. They are one of the most common causes of distressing skin problems in dogs and cats and in severe cases smaller animals, particularly kittens, can die from anemia due to blood loss from the feeding fleas.

Direct Pet treatment

The most effective way to control flea infestations is to treat the pet directly all year round. Prescription and non-prescription direct treatments in the form of topical applications, flea shampoo’s, tablets and sprays

are all products that can be obtained to effectively treat fleas on your pet. Combing the pet with a flea removal comb will help to remove adults and destroy eggs.

If you treat the pets correctly, you are less likely to need to spray the house because all fleas will jump on your cat or dog as part of their life cycle. So if you have treated the cat or dog, the fleas will die out when they come into contact with the animal.


Home Management

Hoovering the carpets and furniture will pick up eggs, this is especially important if your pets are allowed to sleep or climb on sofa, bed, etc. Cleaning the area where the pet’s favourite sleeping place is will remove significant numbers of eggs and larvae, if you use a basket any bedding should be washed in the washing machine (eggs, larvae and adults will not survive this).

It is possible especially when the infestation is light, for do it yourself pest control to be effective. Many products can be used to spray your house against fleas. Products have been designed to allow a low concentration of insecticide to be used by untrained homeowners in their own homes. In light infestation type situations these can be quite effective. Most of these products have a low concentration of insecticide and in some cases a growth regulator. As with all products of this type, you must adhere to the direction as to its use, especially in relation to application rates.

Professional pest control

If you feel that your efforts have not been effective, contact a professional. Don’t go out and buy multiple tins of insecticide and fill your house with fumes and insecticide, as this is without doubt not safe for you or your pet. Also, bear in mind that once a flea infestation takes hold it can take a few months to get on top of it due to the pupal stage of the flea life-cycle, which is very resistant to being killed. The pupae must hatch into an adult flea before it can be killed by any flea treatments applied

New Veterinary Specific Equine Calmer

Fireworks can be worrying for all animals, including horses. We are now stocking a new veterinary specific calming supplement which can be beneficial for a number of scenarios including helping to settle some horses during firework season. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact our vets for advice on 01482 898301 Opt.1












How to create a ‘Pet Den’

How to create a ‘Pet Den’

The pet den is by far one of most useful tools when it comes to managing phobias and anxieties and is very simple to create for any pet. This needs to be an area where your pet feels relaxed and secure. Maybe there’s already somewhere your pet naturally gravitates to when feeling threatened or unsure. Make this space as cosy and comfortable as you can to encourage your pet to use it by giving treats, toys or feeding in this area. If there’s no existing area where your pet likes to go, create one! Use a bed or pet crate and fill it with soft blankets and cushions. Place your pet’s favourite toy in there, along with drinking water. Ideally the crate should go under a table or a bed – somewhere slightly concealed from view – but if that’s not possible, place it in a corner or against a wall and cover it with a blanket or bedsheet to provide some privacy and reduce some of the noise disturbance. The darker and quieter, the better.


To make the den even more inviting, spray it with a pheromone spray like, Adaptil (for dogs) or Feliway (for cats) to help promote feelings of calm and contentment. These products also come as plug-in-style room diffusers and have a similar effect. Pet Remedy has blends of essential oils which help calm the nerves of pets affected by firework fear. This includes rabbits, birds and other pets too.  (NB: There are other brands of anti-anxiety therapies available too.) When it comes to creating a den, the sooner you do it, the better. Your pet needs a chance to get used to the area and accept it as a safe place. Make sure the den is accessible at all times so your pet can visit it even when you’re not at home.


Fireworks & Pets

Supporting your pet through the fireworks season

With fireworks season seeming to last from the end of October right through to New Year and beyond, it is important to provide your pet with supportive adjustments that don’t cost the earth and once put into place, can be used each year to manage anxieties.

Follow these helpful tips to support your pet and consider attending a ‘Nervous Nellies’ clinic in one of our branches, to learn how you can help to desensitise your pet to scary sounds ready for next year’s festivities.

Be prepared!

  • Before fireworks season begins, get your pet microchipped and, if they already are, check your contact details are up to date. This is really important as it gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet if they become spooked and accidently get lost amid the bangs and crashes.
  • Speak to your vet or nurse about pheromone treatments and herbal anti-anxiety supplements. They need to be started at least a week before fireworks as they need time to build up. They should be continued right through the season until about two weeks after all fireworks have finished. These treatments/supplements can help your pet to feel less anxious but will not sedate
  • Make sure your pet stays inside at night during firework season. Check the dates and times of local displays so you know when to keep your pet in. If you have a dog, make sure you take them out before it gets dark, in plenty of time before the fireworks start. If you have a cat, provide a litter tray indoors.
  • Block off pet flaps to stop them from getting outside and to help muffle the sound of bangs and zips.
  • You can help to block out the noise of fireworks by switching on the TV or radio, if your pet is already used to the sound, but make sure it’s not too loud or you may hurt your pet’s ears.
  • Close the curtains or black out the windows as it will help to block out the sight of bright flashes, which may scare your pet.

During the event

  • Let your pet pace around freely inside your home or hide if they want to. Provide a safe place (see our page on ‘how to create a pet den’), so your pet can choose to hide in it or stay by your side. Don’t try to coax your pet/s out of hiding places unless they are in immediate danger – they are trying to find a safe place and shouldn’t be disturbed.
  • Although it’s difficult when it’s obvious your pet is stressed, try to act calm and casual and do things in the house as normal. Calm behaviour reassures your pet that there is nothing to be afraid of, a bit like when your pet first heard a noisy hoover or washing machine. Keep your pet busy indoors – play games or enjoy some reward-based training to keep their mind off the noises, if they aren’t hiding.
  • Avoid leaving your pet alone during such potentially upsetting events, especially during the week around Bonfire Night. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry with your pet if they have toileted in the house after being left on their own. Shouting at an already frightened pet will only make them more stressed.

After it’s all over

  • When the fireworks have finished, continue to allow your pet access to their ‘safe place’ and continue any anti-anxiety supplements for at least two weeks following the end of fireworks season.
  • Prepare for next season by visiting dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/dog-behaviour-health/sound-therapy-for-pets or speak to your vet or nurse for helpful advice on how to desensitise your pet to scary sounds. Desensitisation is the only way to prevent your pet reacting to fireworks in the future and it is simple to do. Desensitisation can take time to complete, so won’t be achievable for this year’s firework season, but it is possible to achieve for next year, if started before next August.

Don’t forget….bunnies and other small pets need to be considered during firework season too!