A Pet is Not Just for Christmas

by Jared Smith
by Lucy Nowell MRCVS, Station House Vets
So, with lockdown and home-working many of us have thought it a perfect time to welcome a pet into our families. Being a veterinary surgeon on the look-out for a feline friend to fill a cat-shaped void this summer, the choice was made when an abandoned kitten brought into work moved in later the same day. However, for most people, especially first-time pet owners, some planning is recommended!

Think ahead to when we emerge from this dreadful pandemic. Dogs enjoy our company – long days in an empty house might not be ideal. I have encountered many successful ‘dog shares’ amongst family members and neighbours. Cats are more independent but nevertheless enjoy plenty of play and consider it their duty to sit on the computer keyboard if not receiving enough attention. Do research on the type of dog, be it an adult mixed breed from a rescue shelter to a pedigree puppy, or one of the popular crossbreeds. If you have friends with dogs, ask if you can take them for a walk or even have them to stay (in normal times!) to look at practicalities such as the amount of exercise they need or where they fit in the car or house! Think about the costs – purchase price, feeding costs, insurance, health care and holiday plans. If you are considering a pedigree or even a crossbreed look at health testing and potential health problems for each breed.

Be choosy about where you source your pet and be sure that you have seen the litter with their mother on more than one occasion, at their home (in a COVID-safe way). Puppy-farming is rife and abhorrent. Try to be objective about choosing the best pet for you, ask questions to the breeder (and a good breeder will want to make sure you will provide a great home for their animals), involve a friend or family member and bring your pet into the clinic for a health check within the first few days of ownership. We will examine your pet and give you professional advice about getting started.

Trusted resources:

www.thekennelclub.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/be-puppywise/
www.puppycontract.org.uk/
www.icatcare.org/
www.bsava.com/Resources/Pet-owner-resources/PetSavers-guides

Finally, the Station House Vets family would like to wish all our clients a happy healthy Christmas and to say thank you to all those wonderful animals that have provided us all with companionship, structure to our days and consistent happiness during this strange year. We are here, as always 24/7 – stay safe!

Find Station House Vets on our Handy Mag Business Directory: https://thehandymag.com/business_listing/station-house-vets/

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