Friday, December 13, 2013

Pet for Christmas?



   Are you thinking about getting a pet for Christmas?  If so, here's a few things to think about before you bring them home.

   First, you want to prepare your family.   While the idea of surprising your loved ones on Christmas morning sounds wonderful, it doesn't always work out for the best.  It's important to do your research before bringing home a pet.  Will you be getting a dog?  A cat?  A rabbit?  There are many options; each with their own individual needs.  The more prepared you are to meet the needs of your new pet, the easier it will be to handle the responsibility.  Often times it can be more fun that way too!  It's something the entire family can do together and be a part of from the beginning.

   Second, you'll need to consider costs.  What kind of pet can you afford?  If you're planning on getting a puppy or kitten, you need to know that the first year of life can be the most expensive.  Like babies, puppies and kittens need a series of vaccines for their first set of vaccines.  They will need to go to the Veterinarian every 3-4 weeks between 8 weeks and 24 weeks.   They will also need to be de-wormed, have flea and tick treatment applied, and dogs will need heart worm medication as well as heart worm testing.  At six months getting your dog or cat spayed or neutered is strongly recommended.
   Should you choose to adopt a pet from a shelter, most of these things will already be done.  Shelters will often spay and neuter, vaccinate, and de-worm all of their patients.  Remember when you are paying for the adoption fee, you are paying for a lot more than just the pet.

   Finally, you'll need to "pet proof" your home.  Make sure there is nothing that can be easily chewed or swallowed laying on the floor.  Keep breakable objects up high, keep doors closed that you do not want pets going through.  Sometimes getting baby gates to block off certain areas of the house can be really helpful.  

    If you do decide to bring home a brand new puppy or kitten for Christmas, it can still be a wonderful and rewarding experience!  Just make sure you do your research, you prepare the family and the household, and you know you've budgeted accordingly.  If you have questions about adoption, or purchasing a furry family member, one of our trained staff would be happy to help!  At Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod we want every pet and owner to have an excellent experience together and we will do whatever we can to help make that happen.  From all of us at VACC, Happy Holidays to you, your family, and your pet!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Travel Tips for your Pet

     You know you're not alone if you're traveling this holiday season; but you're also not alone when it comes to the question of what to do with your pet.  This is a dilemma for many people and often a stressful one.  Here are a few ideas that will help make things a little easier this holiday season; at least when it comes to your pet.

Boarding Kennel
      One option is to board your dog or cat in a kennel.  But how do you pick the right kennel for your pet? It can get expensive depending on how many pets you have and whether or not your pet has any medical conditions.  Some veterinary hospitals do medical boarding and/or kennel boarding.  It's a good idea to first check with your veterinarian to see if they offer boarding.   At Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod we are currently doing limited boarding, but when our remodel is complete we are going to have a beautiful, state of the art boarding facility!  If your pet has any medical concerns, boarding at a veterinarian is an ideal choice because you know there are trained professionals available to care for your pet.
     Tours of our facility are available upon request, and any boarding business should offer tours of their facility so you can see for yourself where your pet will be staying.

Pet Sitting
           This is a popular option for a lot of people.  There are generally two types of pet sitting; having a pet sitter come to your house, or leaving your pet at a pet sitter's house.  The beauty of pet sitters is that you can go away knowing your pet is comfortable either in their own home or at the home of someone you trust.  There are a lot of pet sitter's out there and it can be difficult to find the right one.   If you don't already have a reputable pet sitter (or know of one) I recommend checking out www.DogVacay.com.  Here you can look up pet sitters in your area, read reviews, and view pricing details.  It's a very user friendly site with a lot of good information and worth looking into.

Just Bring Them!
     Finally, some people opt to say "forget all this pet sitting stuff, I'm bringing my pet with me!"  This is an increasingly popular idea for travelers.  For one thing, you don't have to pay the extra money to board your pet or have the pet sitter come look in on them.  For another, you get to spend your vacation with your furry family member!  If you decide to bring your pet with you on vacation, there is a wonderful website www.petswelcome.com where you can find pet friendly vacation rentals; or if you are driving you can even do a route search for pet friendly places all along your way!  You can also check out www.officialpethotels.com as well if you want to compare more locations and pricing options. 

Most Important
     No matter which option you go with, it is most important to make sure you are prepared for a pet emergency.  If you are traveling with your pet, look up a local veterinarian where you will be staying ahead of time.  If you are boarding, or having a pet sitter care for your pet, make sure to leave appropriate emergency contact information.  It is crucial that your veterinarian be able to contact you in the event of an emergency.  If you can not be reached where you are going, leave the name and number of someone you trust to make important decisions for you regarding your pet.

There is a lot to do this holiday season; we hope this helps make things a little easier!  And we hope you have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!