When you get your own pet for the first time, the questions come thick and fast. You don’t know what’s normal, what’s worrying and what you can relax about, so today we’re trying to lessen the stress by answering some common questions first time pet owners often have.
Do I Need To Register My Pet at the Vet?
Finding a vet, making an appointment and getting your pet there to register them is quite a complex operation and it’s only natural to wonder if it really is necessary. The answer in this case is: yes! The UK’s 2006 Animal Welfare Act makes it a legal responsibility of the owner to protect their pets from “pain, suffering, injury and disease”. The best way you can meet this responsibility is to register your pet at the local vet so you know where to go to get help when it’s needed, and they’re ready to receive you.
It’s also worth doing a search for “out of hours vets near me” and saving the details so you’re ready and know who to contact if you experience an emergency while you’re usual vet is closed.
When Should I Take My Pet to the Vet?
Judging when to take your pet to the vet is a difficult task. You don’t want to deny them care they really need, but if they don’t need it, you’ve subjected them to a distressing experience and yourself to unnecessary expense.
It’s worth reading up on the common health problems your pet experiences, and learning which symptoms are serious and which are less so. In cats and dogs, for example, occasional vomiting is far from rare and not something requiring emergency treatment.
If you’re unsure, it might be worth consulting an online veterinarian for advice. Through video calls, they can examine your pet, listen to the symptoms you describe and let you know if you need to get them to a vet in person or if you can treat them at home.
Is My Pet Too Fat or Too Thin?
Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is an important responsibility for you as an owner. Most of the time, you don’t have to worry about it: if you feed your pet a nutritionally complete food in the right quantity for their age group then they should keep at a healthy size.
Unfortunately it’s easy for this to go wrong. Whether your pet begs irresistibility for treats or even petitions other houses around your neighbourhood for extra food, things can get out of hand.
The important thing to remember is never to put your pet on a diet without advice from a vet. It can do serious damage for some pets to go without key nutrients or a full stomach, so this is a matter for health professionals!