With so many families getting new dogs or thinking about doing so, we decided it would be great to give you some points to consider before and after you get your new family friend.
Should I get a new dog and what breed should I get?
It is exciting getting a puppy or adult dog but in either case, it is a life-long commitment to care for your dog, to ensure your dog has a happy life just like you and your family members. There are thousands of dogs in Ireland who have no home and would like to be adopted. Perhaps this is something for you? Why not contact Leitrim Animal Welfare or the Dogs Trust? When choosing a dog, please consider how your dog will fit into your family life with regards to size, temperament, time, costs, other pets, etc. and even future plans. Consider the breed suitable for you and your circumstances and research their requirements and health. Do not hesitate to contact us if you require help in making this important decision. You can see that getting a new dog is not an ad-hoc decision but something which should be carefully considered.
Congratulations, you have chosen your new family member and are about to pick him/her up. Now get prepared:
- Get everything ready for your new puppy or adult dog from food and water bowls, to bedding, puppy pads, grooming equipment, collar and lead, pet carrier or other arrangements to keep your dog securely in the car, plenty of toys and things for them to chew such as rawhide, hard biscuits or non-breakable nylon bones.
- Most breeders or rescue centres will let you know what food they used, and it is best to continue using it whilst your puppy/dog is settling in as sudden dietary changes can upset the stomach. A good quality diet for the right size and breed is recommended, and if you have to change the diet then please do so gradually over several days. Do not give milk but offer plenty of fresh water.
- Ask your breeder or rescue centre for the vaccination card, microchip certificate (required by law) and flea and worming status (product name and date of administration or application). Also, enquire about the previous medical history.
- Be prepared for the journey home: get your pet carrier or alternative ready, towels, water and if required food for longer journeys. Take a break when required. Some dogs can get car sick – enquire with your rescue centre if this is the case and if an anti-sickness medication can be given before travelling.
The first time your new family member sets a paw into his/her new home:
- Take your time and be calm!
- Show your puppy/dog around the house and toilet area.
- Introduce your family members and other pets slowly and without frightening your puppy/dog; take a break when required.
- Contact us, Ashwood Vets, and let us know about your new family addition. By giving us the details of your pet’s vaccination and parasite status, we will be able to book your puppy/dog in at the right time for the right check, whether this is for a health check or vaccination or something else. But don’t worry, if you are not certain then just book an appointment for a health check, and we will advise you on the next steps. We are here to help you.
- When your new family member has settled in, then expose him/her to new experiences and people whilst making sure not to get frightened. Please supervise your puppy/dog when being with children.
At the vets:
After giving your new puppy or dog a very warm welcome with lots of cuddles, we will examine him/her thoroughly and advise you on important aspects of your pet’s care as outlined below:
- Vaccinations are very important, in fact, lifesaving! We vaccinate against Canine Parvovirosis, Distemper, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus hepatitis and Leptospirosis. Any unvaccinated puppy from 8 weeks of age or a dog not yearly vaccinated requires two injections two to four weeks apart, followed by one yearly vaccination. In addition, we can vaccinate against Kennel Cough.
- Microchipping your dog is a legal requirement and should be done by the age of 12 weeks. The chip is implanted under the skin and can be read by using a reader. In the unfortunate event of your puppy/dog getting lost, the number associated with the chip can be checked against the national database, where you registered your details so that you can be contacted.
- Worming treatment should be done every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age and then every 3 months. However, we recommend treating monthly against lungworms with specific worming treatment available at Ashwood Vets. This treatment will kill gastrointestinal worms at the same time ensuring that your pet, you and your family stay safe.
- Flea and tick control: Did you know that it can take more than 3 months to get rid of a flea infestation in your house? We believe that prevention is better than treatment and therefore recommend regular flea and tick treatment! We have an assortment of flea and tick treatments available at the practice and are happy to give you advice on which product is most suited for your dog e.g. a tablet is more suitable than a spot-on if your dog swims or gets bathed a lot.
- Feeding: We recommend a good quality diet appropriate for your dog’s breed, size and age, such as available at our on-site shop. Just ask a member of staff for help.
- Neutering: Ashwood Vets neuters dogs from 6 months of age depending on the breed or three months after finishing a season.
- Dental care: Your dog’s teeth are not much different than ours – they need care to keep them healthy. Regular tooth brushing, dental food and other options are recommended. Please ask a member of the staff for further information.
- Free nurse checks: We recommend making an appointment for your puppy with our nurse monthly until your puppy until six months of age. This will allow us to bond with your pet, to address any questions you may have and to get an accurate weight to dispense the appropriate parasite control.
- Pet insurance: Ashwood Vets advises pet owners to consider taking on pet insurance to cover against accidents, illnesses, loss and recovery of your pet. We cannot recommend any insurances as such, nor will we sign your pet automatically up to any insurance when you visit us. This responsibility remains with you.