New Malden Vets's home page
  • Call our surgery020 8942 2202
  • Out of hours020 81270393

Buying a Pet

Adding a friend to the family

What should I consider when getting a new pet?

If you need guidance on deciding on the best pet for you, try the Your Right Pet website. It explains the needs of different types of pets and asks questions about your lifestyle and circumstances. It will then suggest an appropriate pet and gives additional information on the average lifespan and any health problems which may be encountered. You may need to consider these issues:

How much free time do you have? If you are very busy, you may not be able to give enough attention to a dog, but an independent cat or a smaller pet may be more suitable.

When are you at home? Some animals are most active at certain times of the day.

How much do you want to spend on your pet? There’s the initial cost of buying a pet, but after that you have to consider food costs and the costs of insurance or getting your pet treated by us.

Do you want an active pet? Some pets require a lot of exercise, some require less or none. Some breeds of dog are more suitable for agility or flyball then other breeds.

Who will care for it when you are away? If you are away from home, all pets will need someone to take care of them for you.

Where is a good place to get a pet?

It can be difficult to know where to get a pet. Here are some suggestions:

Rescue centres are very good places to look for new pets. Try getting in touch with these centres and see if they have a pet that’s right for you:

If you can’t find a pet through a rescue centre, you should try to get in touch with a reputable breeder or with a family whose pet is pregnant. We have a noticeboard in our practice which often lists puppies or kittens from good homes.

If you buy your pet from a pet shop, please take care to ensure that the pet is clean, healthy and responsive.

What is the Canine Health Scheme?

The Kennel Club and British Veterinary Association organise and run three health schemes. These schemes are designed to help improve the health of dogs which are at risk of certain inherited diseases. The existing schemes allow individual dogs to be tested for diseases affecting the hips, elbows and eyes. The schemes aim to identify individuals within a breed who have fewer or no signs of the inherited disease. These individuals are then bred from, aiming to produce healthy offspring.

There are also DNA tests now available for several genetic disease in dogs and cats. These require a sample of your pet’s DNA. Which is taken either by blood sample or mouth swab and sent to the laboratory for testing. Please contact us for further information or to discuss which tests are necessary for your pet.

Return to Pet Advice