You may be aware that despite a bad start to stances on animal welfare, notably fox hunting and the ivory trade, the government has recently introduced reforms on two major issues surrounding our pets. The veterinary profession, and wider animal loving community has welcomed both of these.
Firstly, the selling of puppies and kittens by third parties. This ban prevents vulnerable young pets being ‘sold on’ through internet and non-legitimate retailers. The hard work fought by notable campaigns such as Lucy’s Law, PupAid, Care And Respect Includes All Dogs (CARIAD), and Canine Action UK, have helped ensure this reform.
Whilst this does not absolutely prevent puppy farming, it introduces a greater degree of accountability to those breeders.One area that this does not tackle is animals classed as rehomed or rescued, as of yet there is not very strict regulations in these areas, and therefore potentially a loophole for certain individuals to take advantage of.
Our advice to prospective new pet owners:
• Ask to see the mother! Ideally this should be done where she is nursing, this will allow you to see the conditions in which she has been nursing her pups. If the breeder refuses this, then be very suspicious!
• Puppies and kittens should not be sold before 8 weeks, and therefore should be weaned (eating solids) before this stage. By all means meet the puppy and mother before this age.
• Ask for as much background information about the parents and litter as possible – vaccinations, worming, flea treatment, diet, pedigree, health certificates, and genetic testing.
• Legally puppies need to be microchipped by 8 weeks (this does not apply to cats).
• Speak to us! We can give you valuable information and direct you to suitable resources.
Written by Vet Chris Wilson
Thinking of adopting a new puppy or kitten? If you’ve made the decision to acquire a new furry addition to the family, chances are you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure they have the best start in life. But did you know that being a responsible pet owner begins before you have welcomed your new pet into the home?
At The Neighbourhood Vet we pride ourselves on offering potential pet owners with a 20 minute (free of charge) “pre-adoption” appointment with a nurse for anyone looking to own a new animal, accessible at any of our clinics. Here you will receive all elements of pet ownership to help you start off on the best foot!
Please call the practice on 020 8299 2388 if you would like to book a pre-adoption nurse appointment.