Help and Advice

There are many aspects to being a pet owner that you should consider before adopting. Before you even begin your search for a new pet, please make sure you consider whether you have the time, resources and are financially able to care for an animal for up to 20 years.

Microchipping
It is now a legal requirement for dog owners to not only microchip their pooches, but also to ensure their details are up-to-date. If this law is broken, the owner could face a £500 fine. However, microchipping does not just stop with dogs. We receive emails and messages on a daily basis regarding animals that have gone missing, especially cats. We encourage all owners to get their animals microchipped as, should the worst happen, they can be reunited with owners immediately.

On the same basis, should you find an animal that looks to be a stray or unwell, please take it to your local vet who will first scan it for a microchip to see if it is an owned pet.

Microchipping is low cost, for example at our welfare events throughout the year we ask for just a £5 donation to microchip your pet. Alternatively you can visit your local vet for microchipping. It is not a long or painful procedure, it’s a simple needle in the back of the neck which implants the microchip holding your information – it’s the size of a grain of rice – and is over within seconds.

Neutering
Unfortunately there are so many unwanted pregnancies every year and an ever increasing number of animals within the care of rescue centres. We encourage all owners to have their pets neutered as, not only will this prevent any female from going through a traumatic pregnancy, but it will also act as preventative care for certain types of cancers (for both males and females) and also for pyometra in females. Illnesses such as this can not only be very costly, but also fatal for animals. You can prevent this by simply neutering your pets.

“She would make a lovely mum/dad” is never an reason not to neuter your pets. Pregancy is very traumatic and animals can become pregnant or make a female pregnant at just months old, when they are still only babies themselves.

Neutering prices are at the lowest they have ever been and we always advise you shop around different vets for different quotes as they can vary greatly. For example, a male cat neuter can cost as little as £36.99. The cost of neutering and spaying dogs can vary due to their size and weight. Please speak to your vet for further advise on neutering.

If you are in receipt of Housing or Income Support benefit and looking for help with having your pet neutered, click here.

Vaccinations
Just like people, animals need their vaccinations too. These can protect animals from throughout the year from many different types of infections and diseases and can be done by your local vet. All animals need a first vaccination and then a second vaccination four weeks later, after that it’s a simple as keeping up-to-date with their annual booster jabs. Please speak to your local vet regarding costs for this service as prices may vary.

Pet insurance
Sadly we receive calls on a daily basis from members of the public asking for assistance to pay for their vet bills. Unfortunately, as a small and independent charity this is not something that we are financially able to do, which is why we always recommend purchasing pet insurance. This can be done in the same way as car insurance, online or over the phone through various different companies providing different levels of cover. The best cover, in our opinion, is a lifelong cover, such as PetPlan’s Cover For Life, as this will insure your pet should they have a condition that can affect their ongoing life.

Training and behaviour
Ensuring you have good training in place will not only benefit and ease your life, but will also be beneficial for your pet. It is also important for you to understand your own pet, whether that’s knowing when your cat needs some space, or seeing that your dog needs some quiet time. This is especially important for dogs and their owners as form of mental stimulation and being able to control your dog. Training is along the lines of basic commands, recall or activities such as agility, which any owner can do either themselves or by attending classes with a trainer. A behaviourist is slightly different as they are looking at a dog’s behaviour as a whole, reasons to why they may act in a particular manner and help you not only understand your dog’s behaviour and the reasons behind it, but also provide techniques for how to address these issues. Behavioural issues can be why dogs come into the care of rescue centres, however many of these problems can be address with the correct techniques and when guided by a professional and trained dog behaviourist.