Petcare Leaflets - written by vets, loved by pets

We’ve produced a range of helpful leaflets for pet owners.  These guides help to safeguard pets, educate owners and support vets in their daily work.

Information provided is for guidance and should not be used to diagnose or treat a veterinary problem. If you think your pet is sick or injured you must consult a vet.

Vets can order some of the leaflets for their practice at the end of this page.  Although they are free, we may ask for a donation to cover the cost of printing and postage.

Click on a topic to download pet care advice.

Pets and Poisons

Pets and Poisons Pets and Poisons
What do slug pellets, chocolates and lilies have in common? They are things which are found in lots of homes that can poison our pets. Use our simple guide to help you keep your pets safe when they are at home.
This leaflet includes:
  • advice on what to do if you think your pet has been poisoned.
  • a list of things that are often eaten by pets.
  • tips on how to prevent poisoning in the garden.

Pre & Post Operative Care

Pre & Post Operative Care Pre & Post Operative Care
Your pet will probably need to have some kind of sedation or anaesthetic at some point in its life. It may surprise you at first that things like dental treatments or an x-ray need an animal to be fully anaesthetised.
This leaflet includes a step by step guide on what to expect before an operation; tips on preparing your home for your pet’s return and how your pet may react after anaesthetic.
The advice is general and as always you must listen to and follow your vet’s specific advice about your pet.

Saying Goodbye - The Ultimate Kindness

Saying Goodbye - The Ultimate Kindness Saying Goodbye - The Ultimate Kindness
As a pet owner you will eventually have to cope with the difficult experience of losing the animal that you love. You may be faced with having to take the decision for your vet to end your pet's life to avoid their suffering.
'Saying goodbye - the ultimate kindness' will tell you everything you need to know about euthanasia - the act of putting your animal to sleep - so that you know what to expect and the choices that you will have.

Pet Travel

Pet Travel Pet Travel
Travelling abroad with your pet?  We’ve created a simple guide explaining what is involved in keeping your pet safe if you decide to take it abroad. The leaflet includes:
  • a pre-travel checklist
  • advice on how to prevent common diseases transmitted by insects and ticks
  • a guide to the Pet Travel Scheme

Buying a Puppy

Buying a Puppy Buying a Puppy
The Puppy Contract has been developed to empower puppy buyers and help them avoid the problems that can arise from buying a puppy from an irresponsible breeder. It contains information provided by the breeder or seller that you can use to make a decision on whether you want to buy the puppy you have seen.

Why is breeding important?

How puppies are bred and raised has lifelong effects on the puppies and their new owners. Good breeding and care can help ensure puppies have happy and healthy lives. Irresponsible breeding and poor care can cause health and behavioural problems in puppies and stress and expense for owners. We recommend downloading the Puppy Contract before asking your chosen breeder if they will use it. Talk to your local vet if you need any help or advice.
For more information, visit the Puppy Contract Website

Feeding and Exercise

Feeding and Exercise Feeding and Exercise
Carrying a bit of extra weight or losing too much weight can lead to your pet suffering from serious weight related health problems.
A pet with a poor body condition, whether over or under-weight may become unhappy because it cannot meet its behavioural needs. For example, it can restrict their ability to carry out natural behaviours such as socialising, playing, climbing or hiding. This can lead to frustration, stress and even fear.
Download this leaflet to find simple information on how you can maintain the proper weight for your pet.

Happy Pets

Happy Pets Happy Pets
Have you ever wondered if your pet is happy? Did you know that you have a legal duty of care towards your pet? This leaflet explains:
  • what we mean by ‘happy pets’
  • your pet’s five welfare needs
  • what you need to do to meet your pet’s needs and keep them happy

Pet Detectives

Pet Detectives Pet Detectives
Owning a pet is a big commitment, lasting years. Children and parents often don't think about the practical and financial aspects of pet owning, such as giving it sufficient housing and protection, paying for vet fees, pet insurance etc.
Unwanted pets that have proved too demanding to be looked after by their owners form a significant amount of the shelter population and euthanasia cases, representing a significant welfare problem.
This series of books is written by Emma Milne, with each book focusing on a different species of popular pet, will encourage responsible pet ownership from a young age, outlining the needs of pets and the responsibilities of owners, in a fun and authoritative way.
The reader is the detective, assigned to work out whether the pet is right for them based on its 5 welfare needs.
  • the need for a suitable environment
  • the need for a suitable diet
  • the need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • the need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Find out more here

Rabbits

Rabbits Rabbits
Rabbits remain one of the most popular pets, particularly for children. But what do rabbits need to be happy? What do they really like to eat? Read our ‘Caring for rabbits’ leaflet for advice including:  
  • why rabbits should not be kept alone or with guinea pigs
  • descriptions of normal rabbit behaviour
  • what makes a good rabbit home

Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs Guinea Pigs
Our ‘Caring for guinea pigs’ leaflet contains loads of advice and tips including:
  • why you shouldn’t give your guinea pigs muesli style dry food
  • examples of normal guinea pig behaviour
  • how to protect your guinea pigs from illness and injury

Ferrets

Ferrets Ferrets
Ferrets are intelligent and can live for 8 -10 years. Like teenagers they enjoy their sleep but once awake can be very active and require lots of stimulation.  This leaflet includes advice on:
  • how to ferret-proof your home and garden
  • information about neutering
  • how to feed, house and toilet train ferrets

Chickens

Chickens Chickens
Find out how to keep happy hens with "Keeping pet chickens: a prospective owner’s guide". This leaflet provides lots of useful information including:
  • which breed to choose
  • how to house your chickens
  • what to feed your chickens

Goats

Goats Goats
Goats can be curious, friendly and rewarding pets, but they need daily care and a lot of commitment. They are social animals who should not be kept alone.  ‘An introduction to goat keeping’ tells you what you need to think about before deciding to keep goats. It explains how to keep them healthy and happy. Find out:
  • the facilities and space your goats need
  • which breed to choose
  • how to spot a healthy goat and common health problems