Your First Pet

Pet ownership can be an incredibly rewarding experience, enriching the lives of you and your family. But the decision to take on a pet should never be made lightly and is a big responsibility. Ultimately, you want a pet that is happy, healthy and suits your family and lifestyle.

Choosing whether to become a pet owner and what pet you should get, should never be an impulsive decision. Take your time to think it through as there’s much to consider.

Can you care for a pet its whole life? Can you afford a pet? Do you know how to care for a pet? Is your home environment suited to a pet? Will a pet fit into your lifestyle? Is the pet you’re buying healthy?

We can help provide the help and advice you need – so booking a time to meet with us is a great first step.

Questions you should ask yourself before committing to a pet.

 

Do you have the time? 

Animals need company, exercise/playtime, socialisation and training, so ask yourself whether you have the time and patience for your dog. How much time can you invest in meeting their needs?

 

Can you care for them? 

There are always the basics – food, water, warmth, and shelter. But beyond this, there are other aspects of care that are equally important – love and emotional needs, nutrition, exercise, play, and training. Under the Animal Welfare Act, every owner has a duty of care to their pet.

There will be food, training, medicines, and veterinarian fees to pay. As pets age, their health needs are also likely to increase so it is recommended that you budget for their caretaking a lifelong approach.

Consider pet insurance – there are a number of providers to consider and various payment and coverage options.

 

Do you have space? 

Where is your pet going to live and do you have enough space? If you don’t have much room you might be better off purchasing a smaller dog rather than the big one you had in mind. Is there a park nearby or other suitable walking areas to take your dog for their daily exercise?

 

Are there any allergies in your family? 

Check that no one in your family is going to be allergic to the new addition to the family.

 

What are the expectations of your pet? 

Think about what you want from your pet. Do you want an animal that will curl up on your lap quietly or one that you can take for big walks and expel some energy with? What experiences has the animal had to date in terms of its living situation? Does the environment it’s been in - for example, noisy and busy - match your home environment? Has the puppy or kitten been socialised, that is, been around other people and animals? If a pre-loved dog or cat has lived a very quiet home life you need to carefully introduce it to new experiences so that it isn’t afraid.

 

Should I Adopt or Buy?

With large numbers of healthy puppies, dogs, kittens and cats unable to find homes, consider adopting a rescue animal and help alleviate the “wastage” that irresponsible breeding and ownership creates. Don’t buy from puppy farms, even if you feel sorry for the puppy; more will be bred to replace it. Visit the breeding facility and look carefully at the environment where the animal is being raised. It should be hygienic and provide the animal with the opportunity to socialise with people and other animals. 

Located The Vet, 92 College Street, Riverdale, Palmerston North 4412 | Phone 06 357 7733 | Email office@thevet.co.nz

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 6pm | Saturday: 9am – 1pm | Sunday: Closed

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