Congratulations! You’ve decided to add a fury pet to your family, a fun and hectic experience for all. There are a few things to consider prior to picking a new bundle of joy.
Where are you going to adopt from?
Rescues have become popular- either local or international. Always choose local (or at least Canadian) to support the animals in need close to home. Reputable local rescues need your help to adopt an animal that needs a second chance. Dogs from other parts of the world (Mexico, Thailand, Greece etc.) are bringing in diseases and parasites not native to our environment as there are no firm guidelines in place for disease testing prior to leaving their tropical climates. The spread of new diseases to our Canadian animals is a real issue.
Breeders are the choice for purebred animals. Ask a lot of questions about parents health and if health checks and vaccines have been done. The breeder should let you meet both parents and see where the babies were raised. Legitimate breeders will want to show you their kennel/cattery as they are passionate about what they do. If the breeder is hesitant about showing you their home it may be time to find a new place to adopt from. Don’t have a parking lot meet up to pick up your new fur baby unless you have previously been to the breeder’s house. These meetings are often offered for convenience, but also to keep you away from their house so you are not able to see the environment the animals kept in.
Have the puppies/kittens been to a vet?
Being “up to date” on vaccines is a selling feature. However, if the vaccines are given inappropriately your veterinarian will have to re-start the vaccine protocol for the best interest of your new companion. Vaccines are given at six weeks or younger are not considered protective. The puppy/kitten still has immunity from their mother and their body doesn’t respond properly to the vaccines. Vaccines are started at eight weeks and repeated at 12 and 16 weeks. Vaccines need to be administered by a veterinarian as appropriate storage and handling are vital in maintaining the integrity of the vaccines.
Is there a contract to sign?
Some breeders require new owners to sign a health contract. Often the contract will have vaccine guidelines, age at which spaying/neutering is recommended, any exclusions and a return policy if needed. Don’t be scared by contracts, just ensure they are thoroughly read and keep asking questions.
The staff at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital are here to help you! If you are thinking of adopting a new family member, please contact us with any questions!
Written by Kate, RVT