New pet in the family
Thinking of a new pet? This can be a very exciting time for the whole family, but there are lots of health and welfare issues to bear in mind before making that final decision. Here’s some advice:
Vaccinations: Provided the mother was fully vaccinated, pups and kittens should be protected in the first few weeks of life. However, this immunity rapidly falls and in order to restore it, a primary course of vaccinations is required. This immunity will also fade over time and regular boosters, combined with a health check are the best way of protecting your pet, plus keeping an eye out for any other problems.
Worms: It is very important to treat pups and kittens for roundworms since they acquire these from their mothers early in life. As they grow up they are susceptible to infection with both roundworms and tapeworms and will require regular worming treatment.
Fleas: Puppies and kittens often arrive complete with a small army of fleas, so it is a good idea for your vet to give them a check over on arrival! Spot-on treatments are ideal for treating your pets, whilst household sprays are great for treating the home.
Feeding: Correct diet is vital right from the start! Specifically formulated life-stage diets are recommended and offer the perfectly balanced series of diets throughout your pet’s life.
Microchipping: A very effective method of permanently identifying your pet should he/she go missing. Something that will become compulsory by 2016.
Pet Insurance: Giving full peace of mind that should an illness develop or an injury occur requiring an operation, vet bills do not need to be an issue.
There are other things to consider when thinking of a new pet, like breed, how they will fit into your lifestyle etc. Your vet will be more than happy to talk over options with you that will best fit with your family.
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.