Ask a lot of questions when deciding on a new pet

Ask a lot of questions when deciding on a new pet


Just like everything,

do a lot of

research before

you decide

on that new pet


 Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Animal Care Center of NH & Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

If you are ready to enhance your home with a pet, do you know what to ask?  It is always best to go to a shelter to give a pet a home.  In most cases shelter pets have had a physical, all vaccines, parasite tested and have been evaluated by a shelter person.

Also, the adoption fee is a bargain if they are up to date on everything AND spayed/neutered!!

However, if you find a pet in a newspaper or online, please ask a lot of questions.  There are many people who are not forthcoming and many people steal animals and place them online, many not so good breeders breed and breed to make a living.  Good breeders are there for their pets and breed selectively and may only breed their dogs once a year and only after they have proven in shows to be an asset to their particular breed.  Generally, a good breeder will have their pets up to date on vaccines and will interview you to make sure their animals are going into good homes.  they will also tell you, just like an animal shelter, that they will take the animal back if ever, you must give them up.

Many times, people are re-homing their pets for behavior reasons.  Some people think that if they get this pet in a good home, these new people will fix the problem……wrong! Most likely, if this new pet turns into a tornado, they will be at the shelter.  Try to get the people talking, don’t rush.  Email or call and ask tons of questions, its okay to even repeat questions.  When visiting, stay a minimum of an hour.  If you have any reservations, walk away.

It is encouraged for all pets to have some sort of price.  Free pets may not be up to date on vaccines or possibly have health problems.  Unless you absolutely know how to give a physical and know what to look for in an unhealthy pet (still no guarantee), is is advised to stay away from free pets unless they have a health certificate, up to date on vaccines and look healthy.  I would still bring to your vet within 24-48 hours (it is advisable to do that with any pet). Price deters many people  who target free pets. Free pets are targets for many not nice people.  Yes there is always the exception to the rule but the not nice people are very good at what they do to obtain free pets.  Here is more information – Free Pets, Are they Safe?

Does this pet have a health certificate from a local vet in NH?

NH law does require a health certificate, wether a pet is free or has a price. In NH, law states kittens and puppies must be 8 weeks or older to leave and go into a new home.  Behaviorists say that it is best to keep Mom and babies together until 14 weeks.

You want to ensure the pet you are getting is healthy.  The best way to do this is to ask for a health certificate.A health certificate from a local vet should be dated within the last  14 DAYS.  The pet should be up to date with vaccines appropriate for age.  Kittens and puppies need vaccines at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks.  They should have negative fecals.

Here are a few more questions to ask a person you when you find a pet

  • What is this pet’s birth date? It is a must to know as close to the date of birth as possible, unless you have the exact month, day and year.  Make sure to write it down.  Many people, myself included, will get in the habit of saying, my dog is two years old for the next 3 years, only come to realize, after looking in his file that he is now 5 years old!!
  • Why are you giving up this pet? It could be that people are moving, allergies, whatever.  I even had someone get rid of their pet because she redecorated and it didn’t match her furniture anymore (yup, she said that).  It is good to get people talking.  You may find the reason they are getting rid of the dog is because he just chewed their leather couch to bits because they left him home alone for 10 hours.  That is a training problem that you can work on but it would be great to know before he chewed up your couch!
  • Can I have a copy of any/all medical papers from the vet? You want t know all the medical this animal has had, the good the bad and the ugly.  It is VERY important.  You need to know if you are getting a
  • When was this pet to the vet last? If this pet is 5 years old and the last time he was at the vet was for his kitten vaccines, a lot can happen in 5 years.
  • What is the dates of the last vaccines? Rabies is by law, must be up to date at all times, whether your pet stays in or goes out.  Distemper for cats is every 3 years in a healthy adult cat and should be given whether inside or outside.  Distemper is airborn and can be contracted through open doors and windows.
  • (If a dog) Has he had a heartworm test in the last year? Was it negative? Is he on heartworm prevention?  Very important to know.  Heartworm is very hard and expensive to treat.
  • (If a cat) Was this cat tested for feline leukemia/FIP/FIV in the last year? Was it negative? Has he been vaccinated against it in the last year? Again, you definitely want to know this BEFORE you bring them home, especially if you have other cats at home.  If this information is NOT available, do NOT bring this animal home if you have other pets, bring it straight to the vets and get them tested.
  • Does this pet have any medical problems? If yes, what are they? Again, you just need to know everything
  • Is this pet on any medication? If yes, what is it, and why is the pet on it?
  • Should there be any reason why I or anyone else should approach this pet with caution? Maybe this pet doesn’t like men in uniform, hats  (yes, some dogs have a problem with this), Maybe this pet hates belly rubs and will bite or maybe this pet is very possessive of his toys.  These are all things to know before especially if their are children and this pet is possessive of toys.
  • Has this pet ever bitten anyone, or been aggressive toward strangers? Do NOT be afraid to ask this.
  • Is this pet good with children, good with other animals?
  • Is this pet housebroken?
  • Is this pet used to a crate? (all pets should be used to crates for vet visits, emergencies, travel)
  • Does this pet have any training? If so, what kind (obedience, protection, etc.)? If yes, what command words does this pet know?
  • What does this pet like the most? Does he have a favorite toy? A favorite game?
  • How does this pet act when no one is at home?
    • Does he chew or damage anything?
    • Does he bark a lot, or whine, or howl?
    • Does he get into the garbage?
    • (If a cat) Does this cat stay in or go out? Does he scratch furniture or jump on counters/tables?
  • What does this pet eat? How much? How often? If at all possible, get the same food.  If you do not like the food, just start weaning him off after a week and onto your preferred food.  Try not to do it abruptly.

NEVER get a pet, thinking that if it does NOT work out, I can just get rid of it.  Do your research and make sure this pet will fit into your time, budget and life style.  When getting a pet, it should ALWAYS be for the entire life of the pet and that you will give this pet, the best loving home possible.  That is what EVERY pet deserves.

NH Law for selling pets or giving them away free to another home

Here is what NH law requires for all dogs and cats, mixed or purebred, gift or sale, planned or accidental litters:

About the Owner/Author

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

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Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on “New Client” to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

Contact us by phone at 603-888-8088


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