There is a lot to consider when purchasing and caring for a pet.
Here we will discuss several things that hopefully can help you make responsible choices when purchasing and caring for your furry roommate.
We think so.
Unfortunately, good veterinary medicine costs money.
As a result, when your animal is sick, you can unexpectedly be faced with difficult choices.
This is annoying (unpleasant, tough) for you, for your pet and also for us.
Medical costs can sometimes be very high (increase rapidly), both in the case of chronic conditions and in the event of a nasty accident.
Not only do animals that go outside get sick, even indoor cats can have an accident or get something (catch something, pick up something).
We would like to always provide the best medical care to every animal that comes to us and not have to make choices based on the financial resources of the owner.
Fortunately, there are health insurance plans for pets.
On this site you can compare different insurance policies to see which one suits you best;
There are many types of dog and cat food available in the Netherlands.
You make the choice of which food you give your animal.
This can be tricky. Not only because there is so much possible, but also because each food claims to be the most natural and healthy.
Unfortunately, many of these claims are poorly or not medically substantiated.
For example, there is currently the trend to feed animals grain-free and/or to feed them with high meat percentages. There is no good medical reason for either.
More and more people are trying to eat less meat, but do not realize that it is also possible to make more sustainable choices when choosing food for their pets. We think that when choosing a feed it is good to also think about the lives of the animals that are processed in the feed and the impact of the production of the feed on the environment and climate.
There are more and more brands of animal feeds that contain organic meat or, for example, insects as a protein source.
In addition, dogs are omnivores and therefore do not need to be fed only meat. They can even be vegetarians themselves. Provided (as long as), of course, that they get enough and the right vegetable proteins.
If you are interested in this, then this is an interesting website; https://dogeatplant.com
Cats are carnivorous and therefore need meat. If you want to feed a cat vegetarian (diet), we advise you to get well-informed about this first.
In recent years, more and more people are feeding their dogs mainly fresh meat.
Besides the fact that there are health risks associated with this, we do not support this for the above reason. The production of meat causes a lot of CO2 emissions and animal suffering and our dogs do not need that much meat. Wakker dier has made a campaign about this;
It is also possible to cook for your pet yourself or to feed table scraps. These must be well-balanced.
If you want to know whether the food you give is well-balanced, it is possible through us to ask for advice from a nutrition specialist who will analyze the composition of the feed. For this, we work together with drs. Esther Plantinga.
Fleas and ticks
There is increasing evidence that flea and tick medication(s) are harmful to the environment. These agents leave behind residues that subsequently end up in the environment and the groundwater.
How harmful this is is being investigated, but for this reason, our advice is to only use these products if the animal actually has fleas or ticks and not to use them preventively.
You can check your pet yourself by, for example, combing weekly with a flea comb and checking for ticks in the summer after a walk in the forest/park.
Fleas and ticks in the Netherlands only very rarely transmit diseases. In southern countries this is different and our advice is therefore to treat your animal.
If your animal needs flea or tick medication, contact us for appropriate advice.
Less harmful effects are known from deworming agents. Worms are inside the animal, so we can't check from the outside whether they are there. Not seeing worms in the stool unfortunately says little (does not say much). Many worms are not visible to the naked eye. In addition, worms often only appear in the stool when a lot of worms are already present in the intestines.
Worms can make an animal sick and people can also become infected with worms through a pet.
For this reason, we advise you to deworm animals that go outside, at least 4 times a year.
For indoor cats, 1-2 times a year is sufficient.
If an indoor cat catches a lot of mice, it must also be dewormed at least 4 times a year.
The media often talks about bread breeders (puppy mills) and 'normal' breeders. However, the difference between them is not black and white (not as clear cut).
A (bread breeder) Puppy mill breeds animals with the primary aim of earning money. However, there are also many purebred dog breeders who have income from breeding as their sole or primary source of income and thus earn their living from it.
In our opinion, a breeder is someone who regularly receives and sells puppies or kittens. Whether that person has turned their hobby into their profession or sees it as a side job to earn some extra money. In our opinion, a good breeder should try to breed healthy animals with good character. You can ask the breeder how they do this.
Most breeders breed purebred dogs and cats. A dog is officially a purebred dog or cat if it has a pedigree. This pedigree is given to the animal if the external characteristics are according to the breed standard. Unfortunately, this says nothing about the health of an animal. In some breeds, the breed standard is such that by definition they have health problems. For example, all animals with short snouts have breathing problems. That is why it has been forbidden to breed with these dogs in the Netherlands since 2019.
Unfortunately, we still see puppies of these breeds every day. We strongly advise against/ discourage choosing a breed that has congenital health problems.
If you are considering buying a purebred dog/cat, check this page for information about the diseases that occur in the relevant breed. You can always contact us for advice.
2. Illegal breeding
Unfortunately, we very regularly see animals that are sold in the Netherlands or Belgium, but which are actually illegally imported, especially from Eastern Bloc countries.
The dams in these countries are often kept under poor (living) conditions to produce as many puppies/kittens as possible. The animals are taken away from their mother too early and transported to the Netherlands, among other places. Many animals get sick or even die along the way. Transport is very traumatic for the puppies/kittens. Also, because they leave their mother at an early age, they miss an important part of their socialization phase. This can cause problems later on.
Many of the 'breeders' are very proficient at deceiving the buyer.
These are things to watch out for:
Most of these breeders are located in the border region(border area, frontier) with Belgium
There are often puppies/kittens of several breeds present
When buying a puppy or kitten, there must always be the opportunity to see the mother animal, if that is not possible/allowed then that is suspicious
The passport and the chip must come from NL. Chips from NL start with the number 5282.
If an animal has a non-Dutch passport or chip and is younger than 15 weeks old, they have always come here illegally. Animals younger than 15 weeks are not allowed to travel across national borders.
Reviews of these 'breeders' cannot always be trusted. There are notorious breeders/importers with wonderful (probably manipulated) reviews.
Unfortunately, these 'breeders' are getting smarter. For example, the puppies/kittens are sometimes only chipped in NL, passports are forged, etc. If you have any doubts, do not buy the animal. You can always contact us for advice.
(The tv program) Kassa has made an interesting broadcast about the import of dogs from Hungary.
3. An occasional litter
If people with a dog/cat decide to let the animal have puppies or kittens, you call this an occasional litter. These puppies/kittens are often sold for a fee (expences allowance). Sometimes people cross 2 animals of the same breed, sometimes of different breeds. Crosses (hybrids) of 2 or more breeds are often healthier than purebred dogs/cats. These animals usually grow up in the house and sometimes with other animals or children. They are often very social.
If you want to breed an occasional litter, try crossing 2 animals that both have no/little (little to no) hereditary disorders. We would like to advise you on this. The most important thing is of course the character of the parent animals, because that too is hereditary.
Finding an occasional nest usually happens within one's own circle (communities). Because there are not many occasional nests, it can sometimes take a while to find them. However, the chance of a nice healthy animal is the greatest and it is often worth it (the effort). We hope that we will see more and more occasional litters in the future.
For information about not professional, but responsible breeding see (visit) this site.
4. The shelter
Unfortunately, shelters in the Netherlands are still full of animals that are eagerly waiting for a safe home. We advise anyone who wants to get a pet to take a look at this site.
Who knows, you might come across a dog or cat that suits you.
Shelter animals sometimes have medical or behavioural problems that have caused them to end up in the shelter. If you have the time and space to adopt such an animal, that's great. Every animal deserves a safe home. However, think carefully about this. An animal that is brought back to the shelter again is traumatized twice.
This documentary is about the DOA asylum Shelter in Amsterdam.
These people (mainly volunteers) do a great job.
5. Taking over an animal from someone
There are various platforms on the internet where people who are looking for a new home for their animal and people who are looking for an animal can find each other. The big advantage is that animals do not have to go to a shelter, which can sometimes be traumatic. You can also get information about health, behaviour, etc. from the old owner and you can often take familiar items with you, which makes it easier (for the animal) to get used to a new environment.
This site can help you find your match.
6. An adopted animal from abroad
Adopting a homeless dog or cat from abroad is a wonderful thing. There are so many animals that are unwanted, abandoned and/or mistreated. There are all kinds of foundations that can help with this.
However, keep in mind that these animals are often not well-socialized and often traumatized. In a busy city like Amsterdam, this can sometimes cause problems. We therefore always recommend that you take an animal that has been living here for a while in a host family, so that the character is known.
These animals also sometimes have diseases (among their members) that they contracted during their time as vagrants(stray) or in a shelter and we regularly see animals that have become infected with diseases that are not common in the Netherlands, which are transmitted by ticks. Only 6 months after being in the Netherlands can a test provide certainty about such an infection.
If the animal is infected, it may cause problems in the future. In any case (at least), regular medical check-ups are necessary.
A big advantage of a 'street' dog or cat is that they are mostly crosses (hybrids) and therefore have a strong constitution and few(er) hereditary diseases.
When you get a new puppy or kitten, there will come a time when you start thinking about whether you want to have the animal spayed or neutered.
There are several reasons to do so.
These reasons vary by animal species and gender.
Male cats (tomcats)
Males who are not neutered often pee in the house.
To prevent this, most people want to have their male cat neutered. We do this between 6 and 12 months.
For medical reasons, Maine Coons are preferably neutered a little later.
Castration is not necessary for males, unless the behaviour gives cause to do so (dominant, aggressive towards other dogs, hypersexual behaviour). In some cases, however, castration is not desirable (desired), for example in scared dogs. If you do want to castrate, there is an implant that provides temporary so-called chemical castration. This castration is reversible. In this way, the effect of castration can first be assessed, and then surgical castration can always take place.
If you do not want a litter, we advise you to sterilize females between 6 and 9 months. Not only does this keep them from going into heat, it also has medical benefits.
Females that are not sterilized have a very high chance of developing problems (inflammation or tumours) in the uterus or breasts.
For bitches, just like for females, there is a very high chance (around 60-70%) that a sterilized bitch will develop uterine or breast problems.
That is why our advice is to sterilize bitches that are not used for breeding 3 months after the first heat.