Have you decided add to your family by bringing a dog or cat into your life? You may be overwhelmed by the choices such as where to look, which breed is appropriate, and if you want a young pet or an adult.
We strongly recommend researching before you make any decisions. Look online at the different breeds of cats and dogs and determine which would suit your lifestyle; the main things to look for are size, personality, temperament and grooming and exercise requirements.
Puppies especially are hard work and require a lot of attention and training (although it is worth it all in the end).
Adult dogs and cats are a suitable alternative for those who want a pet that is generally past the ‘puppy/kitten’ stage of crying, chewing, jumping, digging and toileting in inappropriate places.
Remember, getting a pet is a lifetime commitment, so choosing the appropriate pet is essential!
It is a common myth that ‘purebred’ animals make better pets. We believe that ‘pure-breeds’ are in no way better than cross breed pets; in fact we prefer cross breeds as we generally see less inherited defects (such as hip and elbow dysplasia) and health concerns.
When looking at cross breed pets, be sure to consider factors of both/all breeds as the animal will be a mixture.
Where to Look
Rescue groups: We encourage adopting a rescue pet instead of buying from a pet shop or breeder. So many healthy pets are put to sleep just because they don’t have homes. Rescue pets are often misunderstood as unhealthy or badly behaved, but the truth is the vast majority of pets become homeless through no fault of their own. Another misconception is that shelters and rescue groups do not have ‘purebred’ pets; this is untrue and there are breed specific rescues that focus on ‘pure breeds’ and crosses of particular breeds. Rescue pets are also desexed, microchipped and up to date with vaccinations, flea and worming treatments before re-homing so most of the hard work is done for you (not to mention the costs)!
Scarness Veterinary Surgery works closely with Fraser Coast Pet Warriors, Fraser Coast Animal Rescue, Forever Safe Pet Rescue Inc & Paw Kitty Cat Rescue. They are all local rescue group who take in surrendered pets and animals from the pound.
However you are not limited to local rescues, there are rescue groups/shelters that transport animals across the state or country, a helpful national website to find the perfect rescue pet for you is PetRescue.
Breeder: If you do decide to buy from a breeder, extensive research is essential! Pups and kittens should be acquired at 8 weeks at the youngest; this ensures an appropriate amount of time has been spent with the mum and littermates to establish normal social mannerisms. Before putting your name down to buy a puppy or kitten, visit the breeder’s house and meet the parents; a sensible breeder will encourage you to visit. This will give you an idea of what the pets’ personalities will be like and ensures the puppy or kitten is coming from a good home.
Pet Shop: Some pet shops work with rescue groups and only advertise or sell rescue pets; these are recommended. However buying puppies and kittens from conventional pet stores is extremely risky and is never recommended. The parents cannot be viewed and often the pet shop owner does not know the condition of the breeder’s establishment. Pet shops are often used as a selling point for backyard breeders and puppy farmers.
All pets must be microchipped and desexed before re-homing and puppies and kittens should have been wormed and received their first vaccination; it is up to you to update microchip details and follow through with required booster vaccinations and worming regime.
When you receive your new best friend, you should be given information on caring for the pet. Read through this carefully. The food provided should be mentioned, and it is ideal to continue feeding this brand or, if a different brand is preferred, slowly introduce this to your pet. Rapid change can cause digestive upsets.