What you need to know about caring for your new pet
We recommend a yearly booster vaccination and health check which will ensure that your pet remains protected against the most common viral causes of disease; parvovirus, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, distemper and leptospirosis for dogs, cat flu, infectious enteritis and feline leukaemia for cats and myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease for rabbits.
Parasitic worms can be harmful to animals and may also pose a serious health risk to people. Possible disease effects in humans include blindness and epilepsy, although this is rare. Children are most vulnerable.
During walks in the park or even your garden, roundworms, tapeworms (transmitted by fleas), whipworm and hookworm may all cause problems. If your dog likes to lick or eat snails and slugs they may be susceptible to lungworm infection.
We recommend using a broad spectrum wormer every 3-4 months throughout your pets adult life in order to reduce their worm burden. If your cat is a prolific hunter then monthly worming is recommended.
Fleas are tiny wingless insects which feed on blood from your pet. Their bite is very irritating to pets and may also allow the transmission of tapeworms. Adult fleas on your pet represent only 5% of the total flea population. The other 95% consists of the immature stages of the flea life cycle which infest your pets environment bedding, carpets, furniture, car seats etc. They are most active in warm temperatures summer months and houses with central heating.
Regular vacuuming and washing your pets bedding can help, but as the larvae are mobile and tend to move away from light, remember to vacuum everywhere.
We advise using a regular spot-on treatment on the back of your pets neck. This provides continuous protection for your pet from fleas and kills the adult flea within 24-48hrs of feeding from your pet. Ask us for further advice.
Microchipping is a means of permanently identifying your pet. A small electronic chip is implanted behind your pets neck via injection. This chip has a barcoded number unique to your pet and allows him/her to be identified if lost or stolen. This can be done at any stage from 6 weeks of age. Neutering is a good opportunity to have your pet microchipped without him/her realising!
In general, dry food is healthier for your pet. Some advantages of this include the need to feed less (meaning less to clear up later!!) and assistance with dental hygiene ( crunching action helps clean teeth). Dry food is usually more economical than canned food and tends to have a more pleasant odour. Hills, Royal Canin and Burns are all brands which we have had success with. Whatever food you choose, remember to feed according to the guidelines on the pack as it is very easy to give your hungry pet a little too much!
Just like us, our pets teeth accumulate a build up of soft plaque which hardens to form tartar over time. Plaque and tartar harbour bacteria which can cause bad breath, gum disease and may even cause permanent teeth to become painful and fall out. With our pets now living longer lives, dental care is becoming an ever more important part of your pets healthcare.
We can remove plaque and tartar and extract teeth where necessary under general anaesthetic, however anaesthetics always carry a risk and prevention is better than cure. Gradually get your pet used to having their teeth brushed. You can use a childrens soft toothbrush and water, brushing the outside of the teeth only daily. Dental chews and dry food are helpful but do not clean below the gum line where most pet dental problems occur.
Our advice for caring for your new kitten
Go to Kitten Care
Our advice for caring for your new puppy
Go to Puppy Care
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