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What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
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0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
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2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
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3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
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6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
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12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
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18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
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3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
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8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

Vetiquette: 10 dos and don’ts of Vet Visits

It’s a funny thing about pets – how can they always tell when you’re getting in the car to go to the vet instead of somewhere fun? Nothing seems to make them turn tail faster than a trip to the fur-doctor.

But never fear: there are a few simple things you can do to make it a happy and stress-free experience for everyone involved, and get the most out of your time with the experts.
1. Take it easy

The perfect vet visit starts before you even leave home. Your best mate is always in tune with your emotions, so if you’re stressed or worked up beforehand they will be, too. For dogs, take a little walk first, snack on a few treats and then calmly make your way inside. Give cats a chance to sniff out their carrier and feel comfortable getting in – otherwise settle in for a serious scratch session.

2. Be on time

And by being on time, we mean at least five minutes early. This gives the wonderful vet nurses a chance to settle both you and your pet in, and you can deal with any paperwork. Just like at the human doctor: your lateness will have a ripple effect on other patients after you, so be mindful of others.

3. Take one at a time

If you have more than one fur-friend, don't try to squeeze all of them into the one appointment (unless you’ve confirmed this with the clinic first). You’re usually allocated 15 minutes with the vet, so it’s not enough time to discuss both Spot’s allergies and Fifi’s cough.

4. Be mindful of others

No-one likes to be sneezed on by a stranger and that includes our four-legged companions. If your pet has symptoms like sneezing or coughing, they might be contagious. Let the clinic know when you make your appointment and they may ask you to wait outside or in the car.

5. Remember your ‘vetiquette’

OK, we made that word up, but it’s important nonetheless. The waiting room can be a stressful place, so you need to keep everyone calm and under control. That means dogs on a short lead and cats in a carrier, ideally off the ground and away from curious noses.

If your dog becomes too anxious and barky, ask if you can take them outside while you wait.
6. Vetiquette applies to us, too

It’s not just the furry patients who need to behave. Just like you would at your own medical appointment, it’s good practice to put your phone on silent, keep conversations quiet and – as tempting as it is – don’t try to pat all the other doggos waiting for their turn.

7. Keep the human kids in check

If you need to bring your other babies with you, they will have to behave as well. Bring along a book, small toy or device with headphones to keep them occupied so as not to distract the vet staff and animals.

8. Accidents happen

As every puppy parent knows: when they gotta go, they gotta go. If your little mate has a wee (or worse) on the floor, let the staff know and ask if you can clean up. This can also happen with elderly or incontinent dogs. But don’t worry – chances are it isn’t the first time and it most certainly won’t be the last.

9. Be prepared

Those scouts were really onto something when they came up with this motto. Before you go, make a note of all your concerns or any issues you’ve noticed. It’s also good to have info on your pet’s vaccination history, diet and flea/worm treatments should the clinic not have it on record.

10. Ask all the questions

We promise, there’s no such thing as a stupid question at the vet. No matter how weird it is, they’ve probably heard it all before. Now is your chance to take full advantage of the vet’s knowledge and get some first-hand advice.

Phew! We’re glad that’s over – and your pet sure is, too. Remember that a visit to the vet doesn’t have to send you into a tailspin. Follow these tips for cool cats and happy hounds for a successful trip every time.

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