Preparing for Ownership

Go To: Cats

Before Bringing Your Dog Home

You will need food, water and food bowls, leash, collar, ID tag, training crate, brush, comb and canine chew toys.

Cleaning Up After your Dog

Keep your dog on a lead when you are outside, unless in a secured (fenced-in) area. If your dog goes to toilet on the pavement or any other public place, please clean it up.

Feeding

Puppies 8-12 weeks old need four meals a day. Puppies 3-6 months old need three meals a day. Puppies should be fed a high-quality puppy food 2-4 times a day. Please limit ‘people food,’ however, because it can cause puppies to suffer vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems and may cause very picky eating habits, as well as obesity.

When your dog is 1 year old, one meal a day is usually enough. For some dogs (larger breeds or those prone to bloat), it’s better to continue to feed two smaller meals. Premium-quality dry food provides a well-balanced diet and may be mixed with water, broth or some canned food.

They must have clean, fresh water available at all times and food and water dishes need to be washed frequently.

Exercise

Every dog needs daily exercise for mental and physical stimulation. The proper amount depends on the breed type, age and health status of your dog. Providing enough exercise will improve your dog’s health and prevent household destruction and other behaviour problems common in under exercised dogs.

Grooming

You can help keep your dog clean and reduce shedding by brushing her frequently. Check for fleas and ticks daily during warm weather. Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats from the coat. Carefully rinse all soap out of the coat, or dirt will stick to soap residue.

Housing

You will need to provide your pet with a warm, quiet place to rest away from all drafts and off of the floor. A training crate is ideal. You may wish to buy a dog bed, or make one out of a wooden box. Place a clean blanket or pillow inside the bed. Wash the dogs bed often. If your dog will be spending a great deal of time outdoors, you will need to provide her with shade and plenty of cool water in hot weather and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it’s cold.

Identification & Micropchipping

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 says that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the owner’s name and address (including postcode) engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. Your telephone number is optional but advisable. If you cannot fit your full address on the tag we recommend placing the house name/number and postcode instead. Some people feel the need to display the dog’s name on the tag, while others feel this could be used in a more negative way, if a dog should be stolen. We recommend that instead of the dog’s name you should place the word MICROCHIPPED on your tag.

Micropchipping is carried out by a painless injection: a tiny microchip – the size of a grain of rice – is inserted under the animal’s skin. Once in, the microchip cannot be seen, but can be read by the scanner. A microchip is recommended by as an effective way of permanently linking pets to their owners, increasing the chances of them being reunited if the animal is lost, stolen or stray. Please contact CASVET on 0871 2230405 for more details.

Before Bringing Your Cat Home

You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.

Feeding

An adult cat should be fed 1 large or 2 smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6-12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from 3-6 months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, kitten or cat food 2-3 times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Try using turkey or chicken baby food made for children 6 months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhoea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Grooming

Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs.

Housing

Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often.

Identification

If allowed outdoors your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost. When the cat starts to scratch furniture or rugs, gently say no and lure her over to the scratching post. Praise your cat for using the scratching post or pad. A sprinkle of catnip once or twice a month will keep your cat interested in it.