Arthritis in Cats

We often hear about arthritis in our canine friends but much less so in cats. Arthritis or osteoarthritis (to give it its proper name) is a rapidly growing area in feline medicine.  Cats are very cunning at hiding illness and pain, as this is seen as a sign of weakness and could influence their survival in the wild. So often the signs of arthritis in a cat are very subtle indeed.

 

The cartilage cushions that line most of the joints in the body are gradually worn away and expose the underlying bone, which in turn causes the joint to become inflamed and painful.  Recent studies have shown that up to 90% of cats aged over 12 years are showing signs of osteoarthritis, thus indicating that it is a much under-diagnosed problem.

 

Causes of arthritis

  • breed predisposition eg Scottish Folds, Burmese, Maine Coons, Abyssinians
  • injury to the joint
  • obesity (tends to exacerbate the problem rather than cause it)
  • age

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Depending on the personality of your cat and the severity of the arthritis,                                                 you may notice some of the following signs:

  • Reduced ability to move- may present as an inability to get up or down from furniture and their beds meaning that they will sleep down lower or in different locations to previously.
  • Arthritic cats may have difficulty getting into and out of high-sided kitty litters and may start to have accidents when toileting.
  • Some cats have a noticeably stiff gait when walking.
  • Changes in grooming behaviour -may be too painful to groom and develop a matted or scurfy coat. They also could be over-grooming painful joints with self-trauma causing hair loss as well as inflamed and infected skin
  • Personality changes - can become less tolerant to being patted or held which results in them possibly becoming aggressive or hiding more
  • Changes in activity level - tend to be reluctant to go outside, play, hunt and explore which results in their claws becoming long from inactivity

 

 

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Managing Arthritis in cats

  1. Veterinary consultation and diagnostic x-rays

This is an excellent starting point in setting up a treatment plan for your cat.  It provides an opportunity to discuss with your Vet about your observations at home (remembering that cats put on a brave face in the clinic).  During this consultation your feline friend will receive a full body examination, as well as a blood and urine sample to check for any concurrent disease that may influence the medication chosen. X-rays can help to confirm the diagnosis.  Regular revisits are recommended to ensure your cat is responding well to the medication and is not experiencing any side effects.

 

  1. Weight control

Excess weight can place more pressure on painful joints, so getting rid of unwanted kilos is recommended.  Cats need to lose weight in a slow and controlled manner to prevent metabolic problems.  Please discuss the best way to do this with your vet or vet nurse.

 

  1. Joint support medication injections

These are a course of injections that help to re-coat the cartilage and increase the viscosity of the fluid in all the joints in the body.  Boosters are required at regular intervals to ensure continued efficacy.

 

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s)

NSAID’s are most commonly used once the health of the liver and kidneys are established in the initial consultation.  Sometimes an opioid medication will be prescribed.

 

  1. Nutriceuticals

These are a food or food products that provide health or medical benefits.  The main ones used in feline medicine are Joint Guard and Hills™ Prescription Diet feline j/d. They contain chondroitin and glucosamine supplements.

 

  1. Home comforts/ environment change

Some things that you can do at home to assist your cat mayinclude:

  • providing your cat with soft bedding
  • a quiet and non-drafty places to sleep
  • self-warming beds or wheat bags
  • low sided kitty litters for easy access and to prevent toileting accidents
  • placing steps near favourite furniture and beds to aid in getting up and down
  • extra grooming of coats and nails

 

If your cat is showing any of the above signs or you are concerned, please make and appointment with your veterinarian to discuss a diagnostic and treatment plan. 

 

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Winter Blues - Keeping your pet safe and healthy

Winter is definitely coming! Are your pets a bit more reluctant to go outside? Having a bit more difficulty rising out of bed in the morning?

With the change in weather and temperatures dropping we have to ensure we are looking after our four legged family members. We need to pay particular attention to those pets who have entered their senior years and those who live outside.

 

Do I have to go outside?

If your pet spends the majority of their time outside then proper outdoor housing is a must. There are fantastic ranges of kennels for dogs and enclosures for cats that offer water, rain, frost and wind protection. Make sure the housing is placed away from the seasonal elements in a position where they feel secure and cozy.

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Whether inside or outside make sure your pets bedding is raised off the floor and away from cold drafts including the door ways of kennels. Fill an outside kennel with warm dry blankets that are washed regularly.

 

 

Feed me, Feed me!

You'll probably notice your pet's appetite will increase during winter. This is especially true in outside pets that will require more energy to keep warm. Keep a close eye on your pet's weight ensuring they are nourished, but not overfed from too many winter snacks.

 

Keep me warm

Particularly cold winters days can be uncomfortable for slim, younger or older dogs. Try placing a hot water bottle (with warm not hot water) into your pet's kennel. This will soon make a comfortable place to rest. A caution for pets who love to chew, only use warm water and if you have any doubts there are other options such as heating discs and pads. Ask us for more information.

 

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There's nothing like a walk in the park and some aerobic exercise to get rid of the winter blues. Rug up and head out for your pet's favourite activity. Not only will your dog love you for it, you'll be feeling fantastic in no time too.

 

Older Pets

If your pet is struggling to get out of bed then it could be a sign of arthritis or an age related disease. The cold weather often makes these problems worse. We recommend 6 monthly senior check-ups particularly if your pet is showing signs of ageing. Typically, most of these symptoms can be controlled through simple diet changes and/or medications.

 

Tips for Senior Pets:
  • Create a warm haven where your older pet can curl up and avoid draughty areas.
  • Elevate their bed up off the cold floor. Particularly concrete and hard surfaces.
  • Provide thick warm bedding and use heating products where possible.
  • Maintain your pet's joint mobility by providing regular exercise

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If you believe your pet is in pain please seek veterinary advice. Advancements in veterinary medicine make treatment for the ailments of age related disease possible.

 

Click to find your nearest Best for Pet clinic 

 


Melbourne Dog Lovers Show

We had such a wonderful time at the Melbourne Dog Lovers Show this past weekend.

Dr Tania

 

We were very proud to sponsor the Ask-A-Vet stand.

Visitors were able to come up and ask our vets any questions they had about their dogs or other pets. We had wonderful veterinarians from our Brunswick Central, Reservoir, Essendon, Carlton and Blackburn clinics on hand. We also had some of our very knowledgeable veterinary nurses there happy to help out.

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One lucky attendee won a membership to our Best for Pet program.  In addition to this they will receive a years supply of food and parasite control from our friends at Hills Science Diet and Advocate.

 

Best of all we had some very well behaved pooches that couldn’t wait to meet people and get a scratch or a cuddle.

 

Thank you to everyone who came out and made it such a great weekend!

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A special thank you to our furry friends, Kenya, Bruno, Spencer, Harper, Doctor and Ice, for putting a smile on everyone's faces!

 


The Importance Of Good Dental Hygiene For Cats and Dogs

Over 85% of dogs and cats over 4 years old have some form of periodontal (dental) disease. Dental disease causes bad breath (halitosis) and pain, it is also a source of infection and can make your pet seriously ill.

Dental disease is preventable in the vast majority of cases and in most cases, easy to achieve at home. There are many different methods to keep your pet's teeth "pearly white" and these should be started while they are puppies and kittens. While dental disease may seem like a relatively minor issue, you would be surprised at the damaging effects advanced dental disease can have on our favourite furry friends.

For adult cats and dogs with existing dental disease, a dental treatment with a scale and polish under general anaesthetic is often necessary to get their mouth back into top condition. This will allow us to start prevention with a clean mouth and hoping to prevent, or slow down dental disease developing again in the future.

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What is Dental disease?

A fairly common disease, dental disease is categorized over 4 different stages with a fairly common strand called Gum Disease. Stage 1 is very early and very mild build of tartar, which is caused by a build up of bacteria, saliva and food particles, and can progress into more severe tartar build up, signs of plaque and also the beginnings of gingivitis (inflammation of the gum line) at stage 2. The first 2 stages of dental disease are in most cases, manageable and even reversible through the introduction of appropriate dental supplements, dental related foods and a scale and polish under anaesthetic as required. As we move in to stage 3 and 4, the build up of tartar to be cleared is more severe and can cause multiple physical and behaviour issues and may require an anaesthetic to clean the teeth using an ultrasonic-scaler, by hand and most likely extractions of some of their teeth.

If you’re worried that your pet may have dental disease, some common signs include:

  • Bad breath
  • Behavioural changes (e.g. lethargy, increased aggression)
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Favouring one side of the mouth while eating
  • Loose teeth/receding gums
  • Excessive drooling, sometimes red tinged
  • Dropping of food from the mouth when eating, or reluctant to chew
  •  Inappetence
  • Sensitivity when touching the mouth/face

In order to prevent your animal from getting dental disease, early prevention is the key.

 

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Some great tips include:

Brushing your pet's teeth

Yes you read it correctly, brushing their teeth! This is the gold standard of preventative dental care for your pet. Think about how yucky your own teeth feel after a day without brushing, so imagine the effect it has on your pet’s teeth after weeks/months/years without brushing. When brushing, it’s important to use a soft toothbrush and make sure that animal specific toothpaste is used. Slow circles on the teeth and soft brushing along the gum line are the correct ways. If you are starting on a middle aged or elderly dog or cat they will not be used to this activity, so take it slow and make sure the experience is always a positive one (reward with treats!). We suggest you consult with the team at your local clinic about how best to introduce brushing into your pet's routine.

 

Dental diets

A wide range of dental specific diets are available to you at your nearest Veterinary clinic. These specific food products available with essential nutrients while including the required dental benefits to keep your animal’s teeth healthy.

Hills t/d is one option of prescription dental dry food available for both cats and dogs. It is designed to keep pets teeth clean, while still providing them with a complete balanced diet. Each piece of kibble is larger than usual, specifically designed to encourage and stimulate chewing. It also has a special fibre matrix within each biscuit which aids in the breakdown of plaque.

Treats and chews

Including everything from Greenies, Prozym sticks, hard rubber, nylon chews and raw hide, treat your pets to treats and chews that will help to naturally get rid of any unwanted plaque. The chewing action aids in the removal of plaque via physical rubbing and the spread of protective saliva. These should not be relied on solely for dental prevention. Talk to the team at your local Best for Pet clinic about the best option for your pet.

Dental toys

There are some toys available which are again great at encouraging your dog to chew. Some of these toys include the Kong and Gumabone. Toys are a useful addition to a dental hygiene program, however they should not be relied on solely.

 

Veterinary Dental Treatment

In the majority of pet's lives, there comes a time when their teeth may require veterinary treatment over and above their regular examinations. A dental treatment involves a general anaesthetic and a full dental examination, including charting and scaling, both ultrasonically and by hand, and then finishing with a polish. A very similar procedure used by your own dentist.

If you have any questions about preventative tips or queries on your animal’s dental health, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly Best for Pet Veterinary teams today.

 


Caring for your Senior Pet

For many pet lovers, watching our companions grow older is a comforting, rewarding experience. Hard to believe the same bundle of energy tearing around the yard so many years ago is now the calm and kind old friend curled at our feet.

Old age itself is not a disease but we are aware that certain diseases can be age related. Older pets need more extensive examinations, more often. This is why we recommend having senior check-ups for your older pets.

A properly formulated diet will have a significant impact on the health of a senior pet and our health care teams are trained to advise you on the best nutrition for your companion.

The approach to your senior pet is that of a pet care partnership combining your observations at home with an examination. Typically most of the diseases we are keeping an eye out for in senior pets are controllable with simple diet changes and/or medications.

 

What to look out for

As your pet's owner, you are in the best position to look out for the early warning signs of aging and age related diseases. Here are some of the signs that can indicate change and require action:

  • Change in appetite
  • Discomfort on rising or after exercise
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Loss of housetraining6737182_s
  • Excessive drinking and/or urination
  • Bad breath, plaque, or bleeding gums
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Persistent cough
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Appearance of lumps and bumps

 

What we can do for your pet

At the senior check-up vets are identifying subtle changes in body function. If there are abnormalities detected in initial testing, further investigation or more frequent testing may be recommended.

What should your Senior Check Include?

  • Wellness overview - a chance for you to tell your veterinarian any changes of behaviour or physical appearance you have noticed. Use our checklist as a reminder of the changes you should be looking out for.
  • Hands on physical examination - your veterinarian will palpate or feel your pet's musculoskeletal system, abdomen, and head and neck areas for abnormalities. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your pet's heart and lungs. Your pet's eyes, ears, and mouth will also be checked for age-related problems, such as cataracts, dental problems, and ear canal disorders.
  • Diagnostic tests - such as blood work, urinalysis and possibly x-rays (based on your veterinarian's recommendations).

 

Ongoing monitoring allows your veterinarian to ensure they have the correct combination of treatment in place for your pet. As well as assisting you to provide the best lifestyle and home environment possible.

The aim of the Senior Program is to make the life of your furry companion long and healthy. We take pleasure in helping you to achieve this.

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For additional questions or to book your Senior Pet in for a health check please contact your local Best for Pet veterinarian.

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The Joys of Owning a Cat

According to the Australian Veterinary Associate, almost a quarter of Australian households have a cat – more than 2.5 million in total. Whether you’re a young family, a professional, retiree or teenager, a cat can make a fabulous pet.

So what are the benefits of owning a cat?

Physical benefits

  • Better cardiovascular health. Cats can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even cholesterol.
  • Improved general health. Data shows that cat owners make fewer trips to doctor.

Social benefits

  • Companionship. Cats can be great companions, particularly for young children, the elderly and people who live alone.
  • Improved mental health. Cat owners suffer from less depression and are able to cope with grief, stress and loss better than non-cat owners. Just by looking at you cat, you can increase the amount of Oxytocin in the brain – the “feel good” chemical that improves general feelings of wellbeing.

Benefits for Kids

  • Allergy resistance. Exposure to cats early in infancy is known to strengthen a child’s immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in adulthood.
  • Increased responsibility. Children who have cats, particularly those who are actively involved in feeding and grooming their cats, learn great skills in taking on responsibility.
  • Emotional development. Developing love and affection for a cat is known to improve children’s self-esteem, autonomy and empathy for others.
  • Social Development. Children and teenagers who own cats interact better with classmates, have better self esteem and report less loneliness. They are also less restless than their non-cat owning friends.

INTRODUCING A NEW KITTEN INTO THE HOME.

Kittens can make wonderful pets. They’re playful, tenacious and very inquisitive. Like any animal, they have their quirks and it can take them a little while to adjust to their new home. Here are five tips to make you’re kitten’s arrival into your family as smooth as possible.

Vaccinate and Desex

Before bringing your kitten home, it’s important he or she receives relevant health checks, flea treatment, vaccinations and desexing. You will also need to schedule a few booster vaccinations in their first year.

Kitten-proof the house.

To properly kitten-proof the house, you need to think like a kitten!

  • Find all small spaces a kitten might get into and fill the gaps with a block of wood or a towel
  • Remove poisonous plants such as lilies
  • Keeps cupboards closed and toilet lids down
  • Remove immediate dangers such as electrical cords.

 Prioritise food, comfort and warmth!

  • Kittens need extra protein for muscle and tissue development, fat for fatty acids and plenty of calories to keep up with their active lifestyle.
  • Cats are very clean animals and will instinctively want to bury their waste. It’s important their litter tray is separate from their living area and that it’s cleaned daily.
  • Mirror the kitten’s litter environment by creating a warm and safe home. Whether it’s a cat bed or a cardboard box with a blanket, your cat needs a place that's free from damp, draft and noise.

Take it slowly

Keep your kitten inside for at least two weeks, slowly introducing him or her to different rooms of the house. Introduce family members slowly too and when you do finally venture outside, start with short supervised stints in a contained area.

Keep playtime safe

Kittens love to climb, so anything that’s upright and slightly wobbly are immediate hazards. They also love to chew, so try and remove all things they could potentially choke on, like milk rings, cotton reels and bottle caps.

Safety Note

It’s recommended that children under five don’t interact with kittens. If you have school-aged children, teach them early about the kitten’s happy/angry signs (e.g. purring versus wagging tail).


The benefits of obedience training

A necessity for all of our favourite animals, dogs especially benefit from obedience training, which teaches our furry friends to be social, safe and easily managed animal companions.

From going to the park without having to worry about your animal getting angry at other pets, to stress-free meal times and carefree cuddles without ruining your furniture, there are countless reasons why your animal needs obedience training, no matter what their age.

Although it’s best to start when young, dogs of any ages can learn a lot from obedience training, (a service which is available at most Veterinary practices) and it is a fun and beneficial way to not only train your animal but to have some quality time and bond with them as well. You’ll be surprised at how simple techniques, food or toy incentives can encourage your dog to behave in certain ways that make both your home life and social life much easier.

If you’re still not convinced, here are a few reasons why you should take your animal to obedience training:

Easy Management

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of taking your dog to obedience training is that you can easily manage your animal throughout everyday tasks. Your animal will learn everything from basic commandments like sit, drop and stay, to walking comfortably and safely on a leash and greeting other animals and people in a calm and controllable way.

Social and friendly animals

When your animals learn basic commandments they become less anxious and stressed, making them much more social and friendly. Taking your animals to parties, family events and social functions no longer needs to be feared, as obedience training will condition your animal to enjoy the company of others without getting too overwhelmed or excited and they will learn to listen to you when they do.

Safety

After attending training, your animals are much more likely to be safer around other animals, people and outside environmental factors. Simple things like returning to you when called, or sitting calmly next to you when a bigger or more anxious dog walks past is an undeniable benefit, making play time a whole lot less stressful for both you and your pet!

Bonding

With countless behavioral benefits, obedience training is also a great time for you to bond with your pet through a series of fun and relaxed exercises.  Research shows that animals that have had discipline training are more responsive to their owners, making you less stressed and more loving towards your pet without any unwanted frustration!

Community Involvement

Although it may be time consuming for some, the overall benefits of taking your animal to obedience training is huge and are not just for your favourite furry friend! Obedience training is a great chance to develop and grow your animal’s skills and behaviour as well as a chance for you to meet new likeminded pet owners. Get social one night a week, with a great group of Vet nurses and pet owners while spending quality time with your favourite animal companion – what more could you want?

Despite the age-old saying, even if your dog is no longer a puppy, it can still learn new tricks! While the younger they are, the more likely they are to learn the required training faster and easier, there are still plenty of ways to teach older dogs discipline with similar food and toy incentives and disciplinary techniques.

Get in touch with your local vet to discuss your pet’s obedience training needs and for more information on classes and available services.


Moving house with your cat

So you are about to move house and concerned about settling your cats into their new environment? Here's some handy tips on making the transition stress free and as safe as possible for your pet.

Cat owners are often concerned about the best way to settle their cat into a new home. Cats form definite attachments to places and often try to return to their old home, but a few precautions can ensure that your cat will accept their new address.

Packing and moving time

When it is time to move out of the old home make sure that you lock your cat in a secure room or cat carrier before the removalist arrives. Cats do not like change or disruption to their household and will often become uneasy when packing commences and may leave home rather than be in the midst of all the confusion. It is best to lock your cat securely in one room while packing to prevent this. It will also ensure your cat doesn't climb into a packing box, crate or even shipping container for a sleep and get sent off with the household goods!

Transporting your cat

Transport your cat to your new home in a secure cat carrier. Cats can become frightened by a car journey and may attempt to escape.

Releasing your  cat

When you arrive at your new address do not release your cat until all removalists, helpers and visitors have left and your new home is quiet. Before doing so, also check that all doors and windows are closed. If you have an open fireplace screen the chimney as frightened cats have been known to hide in a chimney.

Choose a room which you can dedicate to your cat for a few days. This will become their room until things settle down. Place their litter tray, food and water bowls and a sleeping bed or basket here. When the time is right, restrict your cat to one room and sit quietly with him/her. Your cat will explore every corner of the room and rub itself around the furniture to mark his/her scent and claim it as his/her territory.

If your cat is having trouble, or you know he or she may have trouble settling in, a calming pheromone dispenser may help considerably, please call your local clinic to discuss this.

Outside cats

If your cat is an outside cat, let him/her outside for short periods and stay with them. Do this for a few weeks until you are confident that they have a feeling of attachment to their new home. Cats are very territorial and it may be that a neighbours cat has claimed your new backyard as its territory. Your cat will have to claim this territory as its own so you may experience some hissing and posturing but generally cats will work things out for themselves. If you have ever thought of keeping your cat indoors, now is a good time to do so. Indoor cats generally live healthier and longer lives because they are less exposed to diseases from the cat community, such as FIV (Cat AIDs). If space permits, another option which can be considered is a cat enclosure.


Settling your dog into a new home

So you are about to move house and concerned about settling your dogs into their new environment? Here's some handy tips on making the transition stress free and as safe as possible for your pet.

Dogs can sometimes be more difficult to settle into new routines, particularly those that have the run of the house or are used to more space. Taking your dog for walks around your new area, will give him/her both the mental and physical stimulation they need as well as familiarise them with their new surrounds. Walk your dog at least once daily, especially in the mornings before they are left alone. This will help reduce any excess energy that they have.

Avoid making a fuss of your dog when you arrive home and leave home. Your dog may interpret the fuss incorrectly, and begin to worry unnecessarily. You do not want him/ her to wait all day for an exciting event (ie. your arrival). If you get home and nothing exciting happens, your dog will start to think it is not the best part of his day and will stop pining for that moment.

Owners are often tempted to replace the dog or cat's bed when they move into a new home. If you can resist the temptation, provide them with a bed, toys, food and water bowl they are familiar with.

Barking, digging and more

Most dogs only bark, dig or develop destructive behaviours when they are bored so keeping your dog busy is the main priority.

Make sure your new home is safe

Before you let your pet into a new environment, do a simple check for the following:-

  • Poisons - check your shed, garden and shelves for anything left at 'nose' level. Also check the garden beds for any rat or snail poison left in the yard by previous owners.
  • Fencing - do a backyard check to make sure you have no escape holes.
  • Remove chewable objects - to prevent obstruction injuries (injuries that could choke or damage your pet's gastrointestinal system) remove suspect items from your yard. Disgard any old bones, small balls and anything your pet maybe attracted to.
  • Identification - Ensure your pet is wearing a collar, and has an identification tag with your new phone number. If your pet is microchipped, contact the relevant microchip registry to change your contact details. Finally contact your local council to update your pet's registration details.

If your dog is having trouble, or you know he or she may have trouble settling in, a calming pheromone dispenser may help considerably, please call your local vet to discuss this.

And just remember, patience, patience, patience... and you will enjoy your new home together in no time.


The perfect pets for retirees

Retired and looking for a furry companion? An extra special sidekick to spend your days with?

It’s the time you’ve waited for when bumper-to-bumper in peak hour traffic, packed like a sardine on your daily train commute or when hurriedly eating lunch at your desk or taking minutes in meetings. We’re talking retirement. And it’s finally here. Only there’s just one thing …

When you’re home alone drinking your umpteenth cuppa, you miss mid-morning banter around the water cooler. When you’re out pumping the pavement on an afternoon walk, you miss knocking off on Fridays and after work drinks. You miss the contact, you miss the company and above all, maybe feeling a little lonely…

Problem solved. Insert a furry friend!

There’s no better time than retirement to introduce a four-legged friend into your home, your heart and your spanking new lifestyle. With more time up your sleeve to care for a pet, welcoming one into your home will not only give you a sense of purpose in what can be a daunting new chapter, welcoming a pet into your home ensures you’ll always have a trusty sidekick to share in the newfound memories you’re making.

Choosing a pet for retirement

When choosing a pet for retirement, as with choosing a pet in general, there are a few things to consider so that your pet doesn’t turn into a full-time job you can’t resign from!

  1. Consider how you wish to enjoy your time and find a pet that’s suited to the life you wish to lead. If you’re outdoorsy and active, perhaps a feisty pup that loves to run? If you enjoy reading and afternoon naps, perhaps a lop-eared rabbit who loves to cuddle?
  1. If travelling is an important part of your retirement plan, ensure you introduce a pet into your life that is capable of caring for itself in your absence, such as an aquarium of fish, or is able to easily be cared for by family, friends or local pet boarders, such as a calm breed of cat.
  1. Consider the costs involved in being a pet parent, including vet visits checkups when assessing if the pet you have in mind will meet your budget.
  1. With retirement come relaxation, and to ensure it stays that way, ensure you choose an animal whose upkeep you’re happy to meet. While budgies and birds are manageable for most, it takes a passionate person to take on the maintenance of a merino sheepdog’s mane!

Sharing your new life as a retiree with a pet will be the most pleasurable and rewarding if you take some time to consider your lifestyle, your financial situation and level of commitment prior to bringing them home. As with any relationship, if the one you build with your pet is based on a solid foundation, it will last the test of time and bring a lifetime of happiness.