Hawick Vets COVID-19 Update

Following the recent ‘stay at home’ and lockdown orders issued on 4th January 2021, we are continuing to offer as full a range of services as possible for our patients, whilst adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

As a practice, we have adopted a contactless approach to appointments. We will continue to provide the same high-quality services with the same friendly, caring people, just delivered in a way that protects our clients and teams from local outbreaks of COVID-19.

We are working in smaller teams to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and therefore lead times for appointments may be a little longer than usual. Please bear with us at this time – we will do our best to make your appointment as smooth as possible.

Guidance for attending your appointment:

To keep everyone safe, please help us by:

·        Maintaining social distancing

·        Wearing a face covering where possible. If this is not possible, please contact us before your appointment so that we can discuss how best to support you and your pet

·        Sanitising your hands before and after your pet’s appointment

·        Using contactless payment methods wherever possible

·        Maintaining a safe distance from the practice entrance until you are contacted by a member of our team. If you are on foot, please ensure you are wearing suitable outdoor clothing to remain warm in cold weather spells. If you arrive by car, please remain inside the vehicle awaiting further instruction

When attending an appointment with your pet:

·        Be aware that our teams will be in full PPE at all times

·        Please phone us from outside the Practice to inform us you have arrived

·        A member of our team will alert you to when they are ready to collect your pet and how best to do this safely and without contact (i.e asking you to stand away, whilst your pet is retrieved from the car)

·        The vet will contact you by phone should they need to discuss anything with you during the consultation

·        Once the consultation has been completed, a member of our team will return your pet to you in a safe, contactless way, talk you through the appointment and arrange for payment to be made.

We have made these changes as the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients, and staff is our number one priority.

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time. We remain committed to delivering the best care for your pet and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

How to choose a scratching post for your cat

Scratching posts are essential items for cats. They provide a dedicated place for your cat to scratch and ensure that your walls and soft furnishings avoid unnecessary damage.

The reasons cats scratch are:

  • for claw maintenance – to shed the outer sheath of the claw and sharpen the tips of the claws
  • to exercise the muscles and maintain the system that allows claw extension and withdrawal, used in hunting and climbing
  • for territorial marking – scratching leaves a visual marker in the form of scratch lines and a chemical marker as pheromones are released from the plantar pad glands

There are many different types of scratching posts available suitable for all budgets. Some may come with hiding places, platforms at different heights, and dangling toys.

Things to look out for when shopping for a post:

  • You will want to make sure the post is rigid and stable. We would recommend attaching it to the wall with a wall bracket for a taller modular style post for extra safety
  • The post will need to include enough height to ensure your cat can fully stretch to provide the scratch room that they require
  • Many cat scratching posts are covered in a variety of carpeting. However, it’s important to choose a post with a covering different from your home’s material, as you wouldn’t want to send mixed messages that scratching one type of carpet is ok, however not scratching other areas of your house with the same material is not!
  • For claw maintenance, the option of having horizontal and vertical surfaces for scratching is preferred
  • The number of scratching facilities in your home very much depends on the number of cats you have in your house. If you have several cats living in a home, then you should avoid cats having to share scratching posts, which will help prevent competition and anxiety.

Where to place your post:

Ideally, you will want to place the post near your cats’ bed so that they can scratch first thing in the morning. A location near a window or radiator in a room that your cat prefers would be a great place to start.

If your cat loves to hang out with you, you could put posts with beds in areas close to where you spend most of your time. Cats want their scratches to be visible to humans, and for other household pets to see and smell.

Getting your cat used to the post:

When you first introduce the post to your cat, they may avoid it. If they do, you can encourage them to engage with the post by playing a game with your cat around it. Alternatively, you could place some dry food on different levels of the platform to encourage your cat to jump up.

We hope that your cat enjoys its new safe space.

Rabbit space requirements

When purchasing your pet rabbit, it is important to carefully consider the amount of space they require. The SSPCA advises the below as a minimum space requirement for two average-sized rabbits.

Of course, if you can provide more space, that is even better for your rabbit’s welfare.



Top tips:

  • It is important to note that space must be across a single level, therefore raised hutches within the space will not count towards the minimum space requirement.
  • If you can provide free-range space that is even better, but please ensure roaming is supervised.
  • The minimum height requirement is 1m
  • The main thing to remember is, the bigger the space, the more room they will have to exercise and keep in shape!

How do you show your pet affection?

Showing your pet that you love and care for them doesn’t have to be complicated. We have pulled together some simple ideas of ways to show your pet that you love them.

Keep active together
Exercise not only benefits your physical and mental wellbeing but your pet’s too. Spend quality time together by taking your dog on long walks, varying the route each day.

Why not combine your dog walk with a run? Couch to 5k is a great initiative, and introduces exercise into your life, and keeps your pet fit and active, by introducing interval training. Whilst out on walks, you could also encourage catch and fetch games to keep your pet engaged and active.

At home, you could build a mini obstacle or agility course using household items such as large boxes, laundry baskets, cones, and cushions. You should incorporate chase toys into your cat’s routine to keep them active.

Teach them new skills
To keep your pet’s mind active teach them new skills. Not only will these break up the day, but tricks also keep their mind sharp too.

Show physical affection
Throughout the day ensure you include lots of belly rubs, ear scratching, and stroking.

For cats, stroke them from the top of their heads down to the tail and encourage them to sit on your lap whilst you stroke them.

We all love being pampered as it makes us feel good. Take time to groom your pet and make a fuss over them. This time is great for reinforcing the bond between the two of you. You can also use this time to check for any issues or injuries.

Could you treat them?
Reinforce positive behaviour with a healthy treat. If your pet has mastered a new trick, reward them, but take note to ensure this comes from their daily food allowance.

Are any of their toys looking used or worn? If so, invest in some new toys to stimulate your pet, but ensure to rotate toys to keep your pet engaged.

There are many ways to show your pet that you love them, and just by implementing some of the suggestions above, your pet will thrive from the love and attention that they receive.