Congratulations! After carefully considering all that is involved, you have decided on the right pet for you. This is fantastic. You and your family will derive immense pleasure from having a pet you love.
Caring for your new friend properly is simple: avoid spoiling your pet too much, be considerate of your neighbours (no late night barking!), have plenty of fun, and follow Veterinary Ireland’s Ten Commandments of Responsible Pet Ownership.
Annual health assessment and vaccinations: Each vaccination visit protects your pet from potentially fatal diseases and allows your vet to spot and treat small problems before they turn into big issues.
Feed only a good quality, premium brand dry food: This is available from vets and good pet shops. Don’t feed just tins and pouches. They are more expensive and not as good for your pet’s teeth.
Neuter at five to seven months: Neutering prevents unwanted pregnancies as well as serious medical problems like pyometra (a life threatening womb infection) and breast cancer.
Pet health insurance: This is very important and ensures that you can afford the best treatment for your pet. There are plenty of different options so research the products well, making sure your policy offers lifelong cover. Trying to save money by picking a cheaper policy may cost you much more in the long run.
Regular worm and flea prevention: Using safe and effective products from your vet to protect your pet – and your family. Pet shop and supermarket brands can be cheap but not very effective.
Microchip identification and registration: Your pet can be quickly reunited with you if it is lost. This is cheaper to get done than you may think, but make sure the chip is correctly registered to you!
Dental care is vital: Regular veterinary check ups are essential to spot the early stages of dental and gum disease so it can be treated before it turns into something smelly, painful and potentially life threatening. Good quality dry food makes a difference but brushing daily is the best way to keep the mouth healthy. this is especially important in small breeds.
Train your pet well: Teach a new dog new tricks and good habits!
Keep slim, keep fit, keep mobile: Plenty of exercise, the right amount of the right food and early veterinary intervention if you notice your pet getting slow or stiff will ensure your pet continues to be happy and healthy.
And of course, have fun!