Pete the Vet highlights Dogs Trust’s #SoldAPup campaign on Ireland AM

This week on Ireland AM, Pete highlighted the campaign by Dogs Trust to get the Irish government to take steps to enforce the new legislation brought in earlier this year to protect animals that are being advertised and sold online. You can watch the video by clicking here.

What are the new rules on advertising and selling dogs?

Laws were introduced in February of this year around the Sale, Supply and Advertising of Pets but many sellers continue to deliberately flout them.

  • Anyone selling six or more pets must register with the government, and must display their seller number.
  • Commercial dog breeders must display their Dog Breeding Establishment registration number.
  • All dogs must have their microchip number, on advertisements.
  • These changes means that all sellers should now be traceable, and dog lovers will be able to make more informed decisions if choosing to buy a dog.
  • However, we all know that many adverts still do not include these details. This has to change, and the government needs to take action to enforce the new laws.

Please sign this petition to ask the government to do this.

In the video segment, which you can watch by clicking on the link below, Pete went on to explain why this is such a bad time to consider getting a new puppy.

The problem with COVID Lockdown Puppies

This is probably the worst time ever to try to get a new puppy

  • Since the COVID stay at home period, everyone wants a new dog so demand vastly exceeds supply. Puppies are hard to come by, quality is dubious and prices are sky high
  • Christmas is always a bad time to get a pup: dogs are for life, not for Christmas. They are not toys, and you cannot discard them when you get bored.
  • Many people are already surrendering dogs that they got since March because they have discovered that dogs are more work and cost than they realised.

Why are animal welfare people so upset about puppy farms?

Larger-scale puppy farms, whether legal or illegal, are not the best places to get puppies. It is impossible to guarantee that all of the breeding bitches have good quality lives and that the pups that are produced will go on to be healthy, well-socialised pets.
So you are far better to take a rescued dog or if you must buy one, choose a small breeder who does this as a hobby with passion, rather than for profit.

How can puppy buyers avoid puppy farms?

Some puppy farmers realise that new puppy owners know that it’s better to buy from a smaller scale, family-type breeder. Many adverts on internet sales websites do their best to maintain an image of a wholesome dog-friendly background. On the ground, they may manipulate the presentation of their set ups to create this illusion. They may rent a bungalow in the countryside purely to make it look like a family home. Or they may suggest meeting a puppy buyer in a car park “for their convenience”, so that there is no link to the premises where the puppy was bred.
People who are looking for a new puppy are warned about these tricks, but it can still be easy to fall for them.
The bottom line is that it is best not to get a puppy just now at all; instead, choose an adult dog, or plan now to get a puppy in the springtime.

So what can people who want new pets do?

My new website, Petfix Club, has a whole section on planning to get a new pet, helping you to make the right decision, at the right time.
Petfix Club is a subscription website, but the first month is completely free, so you can try it out just by registering, and if you like it after a month, hopefully you will stay on as a member for a small amount every month.

What is Petfix Club all about anyway

Petfix Club is about empowering pet owners in many ways, both during the process of getting a pet in the first place, then with looking after their pet in the long term. With our help, people will be able to identify and deal with many minor pet issues themselves, potentially saving them hundreds of pounds because they don’t need to rush to the vet the moment their pet whimpers or stubs a paw.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and and the important message is that cancer is a disease that can often now be treated effectively, giving pets extra life. The story of Bruce, a rescue dog, is a good example.

Bruce was a Rottweiler who was abandoned because someone had taken him on who couldn’t keep him. He ended up being found wandering on his own, and was taken to the dog pound in Tipperary. He was a difficult type of dog to find a home ,for (people are nervous about the breed) and the local rescue, PAWS, put out a final word on social media, because he was going to have to be put down. Sarah and her family had already taken on a Rottie from the rescue, so they agreed to foster Bruce, and once he had arrived in their home, there was no going back. He was the most lovely, gentle, good-natured dog that you can imagine.

Tragically, at the age of just five years, Bruce developed a type of cancer called Lymphoma. His owners did absolutely everything to try to get him through this: I referred them to the oncology referral service at UCD, and he had various types of chemotherapy as treatment. He did really well at first, and went right back to being in full good health. But sadly, after a year or so, the cancer came back, and we had to make the difficult decision to carry out euthanasia.
To be positive, Bruce had an extra year of life, and for dogs, that’s the equivalent of humans having an extra 5 – 7 years. He was very happy for that year, and his owners have no regrets about deciding to give him the best possible treatment he could have had.
Some dogs don’t do as well as Bruce when they have cancer treated, but some do better, sometimes having several years of extra life.
If your dog or cat does get cancer, the important message is that it is worth looking into treatment in detail, with perhaps a referral to a veterinary oncologist.

More treatment is available for pet cancer than ever before, and pets don’t suffer from the same type of unpleasant side effects as humans can do when on chemotherapy.

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