Pet Health – Pitter Patter Paws

So, the festive season is long gone and you did the responsible thing by not caving into the children’s demands to getting a kitten or a puppy for Christmas. Well done you! The stress on an established pet at Christmas is enormous, let alone on a new puppy or kitten. And the added pressure on you? Well let’s not go there.

Pet HealthSo now the days are getting longer, we are starting to venture outside and begin to feel good that spring has sprung and summer is on its way.

Maybe now is the right time to get that family addition; whether cat, dog, rabbit, guinea pig or hamster the days are longer and a new experience beckons.

So, which is it to be? Deciding on the right pet for your home and lifestyle needs careful consideration. (1) the size of your house and garden; (2) how much exercise will your new fur-babe require? (3) holidays – now there’s a stumbling block! Added complications some people don’t want include kennel/cattery, house sitter or granny? It all needs thought if your new addition to the household is to be a lifetime commitment. If you think you might tire and get fed up of having an added responsibility in the household, then please don’t do it.

Once you have decided on your ideal companion whether a cat or dog where are you going to get him or her from (now there’s another consideration!)? Rescue centre? Breeder? Can I hit you with this statistic? In 2016 alone there were over 250,000 cats and dogs in registered sanctuaries throughout the UK. Some lost, some abandoned, all through no fault of their own. Large, medium, small; long coat, short coat; long nosed, squashed nose; black, brown, ginger…they are all there. Young, old; neutered, microchipped, wormed and vaccinated they are all there in rescue centres awaiting their ‘furever’ homes. I am a great advocate for rescue centres and yes, they have ‘breed’ pets too. My blue Persian Delphine came from the RSPCA and I had her for over 16 years, I loved that girl. There are plenty of breed rescue organisations too; look them up and you never know what fate will bring you. You may not feel you are making a difference to the vast numbers of unwanted pets, but to that one animal you will make a difference to his or her world. Think on it.

So, you have your heart set on the breed of cat or dog and have taken into account its exercise and grooming needs and feeding requirements. Have you considered its predisposition to health issues? Be aware some breeds are renowned for hip dysplasia, respiration and skin problems to name but a few. Apart from being expensive and time-consuming (visits to the vet, administering medication etc.) it will cause untold heart ache, believe me.

Buy from a reputable breeder, most sell through word-of- mouth as they don’t need to advertise. Contact the kennel club and cat breed societies for advice.

People are still buying from puppy farms and this amazes me… These poor unfortunates are in general weak specimens and disease ridden. If they were TV’s, they would not be fit for purpose and returned. Try getting your money back from these unscrupulous rogues!

And when you have finally found your litter and the breeder (after carefully questioning your motives to buy one of his/her pups/kittens) is happy to sell you one, that little bundle of fluff will probably pitter patter over and choose you.


Danielle Giles