Everything you need to know about gundog health in one place, including advice from gundog experts about ailments and illnesses, teeth, nutrition, x-rays and much more, plus your questions answered by vets.

Gundog breed Labrador

Best dog coats

We asked vet Tony Buckwell whether dog coats are really needed? Or are they just an unnecessary accessory? He replied: “A lot depends on the breed of gundog you have. Working dogs sometimes need a coat to protect them when they’re doing their job. For example, a lot of wildfowlers like to…

working dog diet

Feeding dogs: before or after exercise?

Feeding dogs – before or after exercise? So should you feed your dog before or after a walk? There is no scientifically established “safe” time for feeding dogs, but in general I tend to advise the longer before exercise the better. I would suggest allowing at least one and a…

Vet examines a dog's teeth

Have vets got too big?

Last month, a friend tried to take his dog to the vet as he was concerned about a fast-growing cyst. The dog is a German shorthaired pointer that has worked all its life, but is now retired. It was not a happy experience for either dog or owner. No appointments…

black Labrador puppy

Worming working dogs – here’s what you need to know

Responsible gundog owners know that worming working dogs regularly is part of the routine. But what about puppies? I recently received this query from a gundog puppy owner. (Read our tips here on choosing a gundog puppy from a litter.) Q: I have heard of young puppies dying after they…

old Labrador

Spaying an older dog. Should you?

Q: What is your advice on spaying an older dog? I am unsure of what to do. I have an eight-year-old bitch I was a bit concerned about because she started being a bit slow with her food. This was unlike her so I took her to the vet, who…

diet for working dogs

What’s the healthiest diet for working dogs?

I’m often asked by owners of gundog breeds what they should be feeding their dogs. They want to know all about the healthiest diet for working dogs. Here are some of the questions I’m asked and here’s what I say. Are all brown kibble diets bad? You simply cannot lump…

cocker spaniel

Spaniel ears – what a new owner needs to know

Q: I’ve acquired a spaniel, a breed I believe that is prone to ear infection. Should I clean his ears regularly or how else can I best prevent problems with his ears? A: The opening to a dog’s ear is unlike ours and the anatomy of the ear canal tends…

Blue Merle Border Collie

Are blue merle dogs prone to health problems?

Q: Is it true that blue merle dogs have health problems? I was told this after acquiring a blue merle collie from a dog rescue centre but as far as I can tell, so far, he seems to be perfectly sound and healthy. A: A blue merle is a black…

spaniel spaniel in cover

What can I do about the scratches on my spaniel’s face?

Q: One of my spaniels has so many cuts around her eyes and over her muzzle from having to retrieve birds from deep cover that it doesn’t take much to make them start bleeding again. Is there anything I can use to prevent spaniel scratches and stop them reopening? Treating…

black Labrador

What you need to know about hip dysplasia and gundogs

A good question and well done for admitting that you don’t know about it or understand what hip dysplasia in dogs is. Explaining hip dysplasia in dogs The hip joints are at the top of the hind leg in dogs and are ‘ball and socket’ joints, so that flexion (lifting…