One of the most exciting days is the day your new puppy or kitten (or other species) finds its way home with your family. It can also feel a little bit daunting because there is so much involved leading up to this event. Choosing what animal is suitable for you family, recognizing the needs of the animal you have chosen- what food and ongoing dietary requirements it needs, what activities he or she can be involved with and what toys are suited to that particular animal. Enrichment plays a vital role in the upbringing of a new pet. There is so much to think about!
A breeder can often provide a lot of information and support prior to collection of the animal, no matter what species, though it is always important to do some research before you adopt a pet.
When making the decision on what pet to get, be sure to think about:
- The size of the pet
- How much exercise it requires
- How much space it needs for resting (kennels, sleeping spaces) and basic play times
- The grooming it will need throughout its lifetime
- Costs involved (vaccinations/desexing/food/pet insurance etc.)
- The amount of time you will be able to spend with it
- Whether it needs care when you are on holidays or if you will take it on holidays with the family (e.g. pet friendly parks)
- Allergies of any family members
Small pets like fish, axolotls, turtles, birds, lizards may not require the time to walk them, but they will still require time spent with them for enrichment, cleaning out tanks and aviaries and regular feeding.
Pocket pets like rabbits and guinea pigs require a bit more one on one time, some will even go on walks. They require close attention for health concerns and will also need regular grooming depending on the breed.
Cats will require more attention (some will demand the attention) and also require regular grooming. Some cats will also tolerate walking on the lead.
One of the options with this species is whether they will be indoors only, or indoor/outdoor. Some councils will have a curfew in place where they are required to be indoors by a particular time. Outdoor enclosures are a great option. They can be attached to the house so the cat can wander in and out as they please without have to nag their owners. One of the best things about cat enclosures, is that they can be custom designed to suit your home.
Having suitable toys for a cat is important to prevent them from damaging furniture and objects around the house.
Dogs come in many different shapes and sizes. Do you have enough room for its own sleeping quarters? Does it have enough room to be entertained when people from the household are out for the day?
Do you have the time each day to walk the dog and is it suitable to your own exercise limitations? Breeds can differ with the activity they require on a daily basis e.g lap dogs like Maltese Terriers vs Border Collies who require a little more physical exercise and mental stimulation
Will you be going to puppy school and potentially obedience classes?
Have you considered crate training?
Larger breeds will also require a significant amount of food on a daily basis compared to a small breed dog. This may need to be incorporated into your weekly budget as well as daily feeding plan.
With many larger properties around the Macedon Ranges, it allows an opportunity for hobby farmers, or even the odd sheep, goat, chicken or alpaca as a companion animal.
Horses are very popular around this area.
If you are new to owning one of these animals, be sure to research the requirements of that particular species as well as the local laws.
Even though they can be quite independent, they will still require the attention for any potential health concerns as well as regular vaccinations, worming and grooming (where applicable).
Oral care is important for all species. Check your pets’ teeth and oral cavity regularly. A change in eating habits can be one of the first signs of dental disease and an indication of ill health.
Enrichment should be provided to all pets, whether it be something as small as a guinea pig or as large as a horse. Daily interaction and provision of toys and entertainment for them will help prevent boredom and destruction of property as well as increasing the special bond between yourself and your new family member.
If you have any questions regarding the adoption of a new pet, feel free to contact us at the Gisborne Veterinary Clinic on (03) 54282805