New Pet Advice from Estcourt Vets

Congratulations on your new pet! At Estcourt Vets we understand how exciting it can be to have a new pet join your family but we also know how much there is to think about to get everything prepared!

We have gathered some of the best advice our team can offer but please remember that we are always happy to chat through this advice in person. Why not register your pet with us and book them for one of our free nurse consults?

Essential needs

Alongside the basic needs that every animal requires (food, water and shelter), pets have another list of essential needs that their owner must implement to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Parasite prevention, exercise and proper nutrition are just a few items on this list. Visit our Essential Pet Preventative Care page for more information on pet essentials.

Puppies & kittens

The arrival of any puppy or kitten often sends our team gooey eyed so we can only imagine how in love you are with your new pet. There is a whole list of things to consider when taking on a puppy or kitten as your choices will shape the pet they will become. Visit our dedicated Puppies & Kittens page for a full list on what to consider before they arrive home.

Small furry pets

Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas – anything small, fluffy and cute fits this category! Always chat to the seller about what your small furry pet is used to and then make sure you have set up a big enough cage/hutch, with adequate room and enrichment toys for your pet to play with. It is also worth establishing in your family who is responsible for cleaning out your pet’s cage and ensuring they have fresh food and water daily. It is worth noting that small furry pets come with their own sets of health concerns, such as flystrike, lumps and respiratory issues, so veterinary attention and advice will be as essential for a smaller pet as it is for a larger one.

Rehoming/adopting a pet

By choosing to rehome a pet, you are giving an animal a chance at a life they might never have got, as well as giving adoption centres and charities the ability to help other animals that may need them.

It is a wonderful thing to rehome and the process comes with many benefits. These range from charities helping to pair you with the most suitable pet, depending on your lifestyle and home arrangements. It is also cheaper to rehome a pet than buy a puppy or kitten. Plus these pets are always rehomed following a vet check so you can be advised of health conditions they may suffer with or if there is anything you need to pay close attention to. You usually also receive ongoing support from the charity if you need advice about your pet in the future.

However, if you do plan to rehome a pet, please take your time to understand why they are being rehomed and ensure that you give them time to adjust and become comfortable in your company. You may need to seek the advice of vets or behavioural specialists and it is worth being on the side of caution when introducing other pets and family members. For example, if you need to introduce your new dog to children, have the dog approach the child rather than the other way around. This can help your pet feel less defensive. Also, be aware that if you adopt an older pet who may suffer from hearing or sight problems, they may become more defensive if they are startled by sudden touches or loud noises. Always closely monitor your new pet with any other pets and children and never leave them unattended.

Neutral territory for pet-to-pet introductions is a must so neither animal feels defensive. They may have small disagreements but make sure there are no toys or chews/treats for them to fight over. Ignore both pets as best you can during this introduction.

Our nursing team are more than happy to discuss pet introductions and provide more helpful tips on socialising new pets.