Serving the Pets Of Comber, Newtownards and beyond!
A Pet is Not Just for Christmas
At this time of year, many parents are experiencing the familiar cries of ‘Mummy I want a puppy’ and are considering the addition of a four legged friend into the household.
While we as vets, love to see beaming faces arriving after Christmas full of excitement about the new puppy’s first trip to the ‘Doggy Doctor’, there can be few things worse than being asked a month later to help in the rehoming of an unwanted pet once the realisation sets in that the new pup/kitten/rabbit is a living breathing being that requires as much love and attention as a new baby might.
If you are planning on buying a pet this Christmas, please consider the following:
· Animals are expensive. Studies estimate that an average dog can cost £1000 per year to look after. This includes feeding, grooming, kennelling and of course vet bills. It is worth thinking about whether you can afford the routine upkeep of your pet as well as any emergencies that might occur. As veterinary techniques get more advanced, diseases which would once have meant certain death are now curable. Fractures which would once have ended in amputation can now be fixed…at a price.
When budgeting for your pet, please consider getting some form of pet insurance or at the very least putting some money aside every month in case of emergencies.
· Animals will make mistakes. Every vet has heard the horror story of an owner requesting a dog be rehomed or even put to sleep after they have had a little accident on the floor. Please be patient. Dogs can take a couple of months to house train and cats, while usually quite clean can make mistakes. If you’re not prepared for the possibility of an unsightly brown stain on your nice cream carpet, you may not be prepared to share your house with an animal.
· Dogs need lots of time and attention. Even the smallest dog requires walking, socialisation and some training. Things get more complicated when larger breeds get involved. The recent trend for Siberian Huskies has led to shelters being full of these dogs when owners realise they can’t spare the time to walk for miles every day to keep this active, strong dog happy. Similarly intelligent breeds like collies can easily turn aggressive if left in a flat all day, without the stimulation they crave.
· If you must have a dog, consider visiting a shelter. Voluntary organisations such as Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary, The Dogs Trust, Cats Protection and Assisi are full to capacity with dogs and cats looking for homes. They are able to match a new pet with a prospective owner and by taking on a shelter dog, you may be giving a whole new life to a wonderful and grateful owner.
Taking on a pet can be a wonderful experience for any family. Growing up with a constant, loyal friend is great for a child but please make sure it is the right choice for your household. If you require further advice, contact Ards Veterinary Clinic on 02891818898 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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