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A New Year and a New Puppy or Kitten?
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A new addition to the family can be great way to help beat those January Blues. You might have already have got yourself a new puppy or new kitten over Christmas or might be starting down the road of looking for your perfect partner. Your local vets can be a great place to get extra information and here at Knutsford Vets we are more than happy to answer any questions from new owners.
It is worth being aware that puppies and kittens are a lifelong commitment and will be around for a number of years. The average lifespan for dogs and cats can be 11 and 14 years respectively. They can be ridiculously cute as babies but they all do grow up. Therefore consideration and research into the different breeds can help you to find a partner to match your lifestyle.
Where do I find information on getting a puppy or kitten?
For those starting out on your puppy journey then the Kennel Club website is a great source of information about different dog breeds, what questions to ask of a breeder, how to prepare your home for your new puppy and much more. For new kitten owners, we recommend looking at the International Cat Care website in particular their ‘Kitten Checklist’ which helps to guide you through the process of choosing a new kitten with helpful questions and information
You’ve welcomed your new puppy or kitten home. Now what?
We would recommend booking a new pet check at your local vets.
What to expect in your new pet check:
- A physical examination to check they are nice and healthy
- Where appropriate vaccinations can be started or continued. Vaccinations are important as like humans our pets can suffer from some severe illnesses and these vaccines have been proven to be safe and offer good protection against life-threatening conditions. Timings for vaccinations are taken on a case-by-case basis as some breeders may administer the first part prior to going to new homes. If you are unsure about vaccinations please speak to your vet.
- Advice on parasite control, including worming, flea and tick prevention
- General advice regarding insurance policies. Insurance is there to help cover the costs of accidents, illnesses and emergency healthcare. There is no NHS for our pets so having a contingency plan ready to cover for the unexpected is part of pet ownership
- Some practices offer preventative healthcare plans which are a way of spreading the cost of routine care over the course of the year. Here at Knutsford Vets, we have the gold plan that you can look at on our website
- Microchips – by law puppies should have a microchip placed by 8 weeks of age either with the breeder or the new owner. For kittens, the law is due to change to enforce mandatory microchipping as well
It is important whilst puppies and kittens are young to ensure that they have a continuing education. For puppies, classes can be an excellent way to formally teach them but it is important that you continue with their education consistently at home and it is worth considering keeping up with training above and beyond the initial puppy classes. There are lots of disciplines of training that you can look into such as good citizen award schemes, agility, fly ball, gun dog training and more out there. These all act as great ways to exercise your new puppies and mentally stimulate them.
Kittens don’t necessarily have formal classes however that doesn’t mean they don’t need education. They can be taught to come back to their name even if they choose not to listen. They also benefit from lots of playtime and exercise so that they have mental stimulation. Cats will often be allowed to go outside, we normally recommend that they have been castrated or spayed and have a microchip placed prior to being allowed out.