January: Happy New Year!

Protect your bunnies: remember in the winter foxes and badgers will be hungry so make sure your rabbit house is sturdy enough to survive the attention of a determined predator.

Bolts, padlocks and additional chain-link fence are best as they can open latches and swivels and bite through chicken wire.

Bird flu in the UK: the outbreak in Lincolnshire of the deadly (to birds not people) bird flu H5N5 has proved the fears that migratory birds might bring the disease to the UK.

Wiltshire is part of the Prevention Zone which requires all bird keepers to protect their birds from contact with wild birds or their droppings. Updates will be available at www.gov.uk.

If you find any dead wild waterfowl or gulls, or 5 or more dead wild birds of other species in the same place please report them to the Defra helpline (Tel: 03459 33 55 77).

Clean those paws: if roads and pavements near you have been gritted/ salted and your cat has been out and about, it is best to wipe their feet with a damp towel to remove excess rock salt or other harmful chemicals that could be groomed off and swallowed.

Warfarin poisoning: tis’ the season for rats to come indoors! Please be aware that ratbait and poisoned rats are very poisonous to pets.

If you suspect your dog has eaten something toxic, or you notice coloured grain in your dog’s poo, please get them into your vet straight away. The earlier we can start treatment the better the chance of success. It may take several days for your pet to become ill, and by that time it may be too late.