Vet Watch, July 2019

Choosing The Right Pet 

A pet can be an absolutely wonderful addition to a home, but there are some things worth remembering when you are thinking of getting a pet for your young family. 

This decision will have long-term implications since most pets will live to 10 or 15 years of age. Rembember not to crumble before the onslaught of your kids’ psychological shenanigans. And if you rent your property, your options will be limited.

Your Childs Developmental stage: Is your child mature enough to handle and care for an animal; ie about five or six? Younger kiddies often have trouble telling the difference between a pet and a toy, so can get bitten or scratched due to teasing or mistreatment.

What are the animals needs? Pets have ongoing and complex needs for feeding, preventive medical care, exercise and social interaction. Dogs and parrots are more dependant on social interaction than cats for example. It is wise to gather information on various pets before you acquire one. 

Consider the pet’s potential temperament: Some breeds are more predictable and gentle in a family situation, while others may be more highly strung, overly athletic or relatively unpredictable. 

What about Allergies? Some pets are more likely to be a source of allergic reactions in sensitive people than others. If your family has a strong history of allergic disorders then getting a pet may not be such a great idea. 

What about disease? In general, in Australia, there aren’t too many hideous disease that are commonly caught from pets as long as children are taught basic hygiene. That being said, there are some risks, especially in immunosuppressed people such as new-borns, those on immunosuppressive therapy, or chronic illness. Pets fed raw meat are also a more likely source of Salmonella, e coli, toxoplasma or campylobacter. 

How much time has your family to care for a pet? Dogs and cats require daily care at least. Others such as fish, turtles, guinea pigs or birds need a bit less attention. However, no matter what the pet, it will have needs that must be met. If that may be an issue, then don’t get a pet. 

Is it better to get a younger or an older pet? Look for a pet with a gentle, but not a fearful or nervous, disposition. Often an older animal is a good choice because it’s a bit more predictable. Avoid picking animals that are over confident or, conversely, timid or anxious. 

Buy your pets from reputable breeders. If possible meet the pet’s parents to assess temperament, or from find them in reliable shelters. 

Before acquiring a pet make sure children (and adults) understand the basics; Children (and adults) need to understand the basics of pet care and pet safety before a pet is brought into the home. 

Thats all for now, Cheers till next time!

PS. July is Pet Desexing month, and many vets, including Lennox Vet Clinic, are offering discounted desexing for pets. 

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